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|Index||298 reviews in total|
I was very disappointed with "Firewall" because I think that it had a
good premise which was completely wasted with some bad directing and
rather lame acting.
Harrison Ford is Jack Stanfield, a man who has to help a group of mercenaries rob a bank - the security of which he designed himself - in order to save his family which is being held hostage. Not a very original script, since it borrows heavily from movies like Swordfish, and even Ford's earlier movie "AirForce One". But there were enough differences to make this movie stand on its own. Instead, we have a disaster called "Firewall".
The worst part of this movie is the absolutely criminal waste of talented actors like Paul Bettany, Jason Patrick and Alan Arkin. I enjoyed Bettany in movies like "A Knight's Tale" and "Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World". Here, however, he seems unsure as to how to play his character. Should he be the smooth, suave bad guy whom audiences can't help but love? Or should he be the out and out, show-them-no-mercy thug? Bettany seems unable to answer the question and it leaves the viewer confused. Jason Patrick has very few scenes and almost no bearing on the story; ditto for Alan Arkin. These two could have played a much bigger role. If the characters seem unable to believe in the script, how can you expect the viewer to do so?
There are huge plot-holes that an elephant could walk through; the reactions of the Stanfield family to being held hostage seem hardly believable; you can see the twists coming a mile away; the ending is weak - one can go on and on, but there are so many faults, that it seems prudent to stop here. Suffice it to say, that this movie is to be avoided at all costs. If you want to watch a movie in this genre, then watch "Swordfish"; it seems Oscar-worthy compared to "Firewall".
**1/2 Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Robert Forster, Alan Arkin. Directed by Richard Loncraine. After a few shoddy action movies such as "Hollywood Homicide" Ford is back and in a near perfect role as bank operator Jack Stanfield. Who after his family is held captive by over the edge and injurious Paul Bettany, is forced to cooperate and get them their tasty score of a few million dollars. At times "Firewall" does go through that little act where the man has to escape and try to over see his plot. The screenplay by Joe Forte does seem a bit rushed and even the last action sequence doesn't truly seem legit or showing too much forced acting into it. But the movie does have it's ups but just can't stay perfect especially with some ridiculous moves kudos to Forte.
In typical fashion, Harrison Ford delivers in this tense and fast paced movie. The action and suspense sequences were well scripted and if you left your seat, you lost some of the plot. This movie was entertaining in the theater but will be a hit on the DVD market. The casting of the villain was excellent and believable. I felt like I got my money's worth with this movie. This was a movie well suited for Harrison Ford's talents and as in his other action movies, allowed him to show the on screen intensity that keeps audiences coming back for more. I found myself cheering him on as he struggled with the plot changes and many surprises that this movie holds. It was very enjoyable.
It's the film Harrison Ford has used in order to restore his character of an everyday man turning into an action hero. The scenario of rich people threatened by henchmen is not brand new (similar to the plot of "Hostage" and "Panic room") but the way the story develops, the continuous twists, as well as the thrills, get to distinguish it from a B action flick. It's maybe too full of electronic gadgets and technical jargon but certainly gripping, except for the silly ending. Paul Betanny (who'll soon become well-known all over the world for "The Da Vinci's code") is as convincing as Harrison Ford, Virginia Madsen sexy as always.
That's what it looked like. It was difficult 15 years ago to pass
Harrison Ford off as a husband of a woman half his age & with kids
young enough to be his Great-Grandchildren & we're still at it now.
He fitted the role, broadly speaking, very well, but appalling casting for the rest of the family with a wife more convincing as a daughter, kids more suited to grandchildren and Ford just constantly looked too old for all the leaping around, fighting & wrestling.
Even before the kidnapping, Ford looked a bit bored with the whole thing, as if he'd been through all this plot so many times before - as indeed we all had.
It actually wasn't that bad a film at all, it dragged a little in the middle, Bettany did his best with a villain who wasn't that villainous & the rest of his were a bit reminiscent of Frank Spencer or the Chuckle Brothers.
There were a few good twists, and the plot moved very well, unfortunately it was Harrison Ford in an exact role & character name we've seen about 6 times previously with the core of the plot (man at bank has family kidnapped for money) being one that has been exhausted even more.
I do like & highly rate Harrison Ford & I can put up with him in these type of roles but at leas make him a Grandad. What's the harm? His age is starting to show & contrary to others on here - he does look every bit the retiree which he is.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Stupid. First of all, this movie is called FIREWALL yet a firewall has
nothing to do with the movie, nor does any of the plot hinge on a
Secondly, it's simply implausible, the characters words and actions throughout. Makes no sense how they do what they can do.
Spoilers follow . . .
If they, the bad guys, can bug and track Harrison Ford as well as they do, then they wouldn't need him to steal the money. It's ridiculous.
There is no suspense in this film. You never believe, for an instant, that anyone in the family is going to get hurt. This is underlined when, after trying to escape again and again, they are not punished, then when Ford tries something else, Paul Bettany punishes them by KILLING ONE OF HIS OWN MEN?
What? Please. Come on.
Ford's character is supposed to be smart, yet he doesn't really do smart things most of the time, plus though he acknowledges that the kidnappers have shown them their faces, anyone with common sense would admit that they're be killed no matter what they do, but other than one throwaway line, that's never addressed. Stupid. They can identify them, so of course they'll all be killed.
The third act, in which they go upon a complicated route to blame Ford for the murder of his close friend, is simply silly, as is Ford saying he has no time to call the police and explain, yet has the time to explain it to Chloe, hack in and steal back the money and track the bad guys using his dog, THAT he has time for, but the calling the cops? Nope, no time for that.
This kind of paint by numbers, playing to the lowest common denominator type of movie making is why more people watch LOST, HEROES and 24 rather than go to the movies. We don't like to be talked down to.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What studio exec(s) greenlighted this POS? When the boy wants to take the dog's collar off and the mom says, no, he needs it -- my BS meter went off the chart! The dog has a GPS collar? How is this relevant? Then the merciless terrorists take the friggin' dog WITH them on their escape and, instead of shooting the dog when it's barking, RELEASE it 1000 yards from their hideaway, within sight of where they are staying!!!! So Harrison Ford can track his family and rescue them?!?!? Give me a flippin' break! And then the climactic fight scene -- men throwing each other out of windows, not unlike bad John Wayne movies of the 30s? With the same bogus sound effects?? It's laughable! And in the end, HF's family are miraculously no longer manacled and they all walk away free and clear? I hate to be the bearer of sad tidings, but HF is going to prison after what he's done! By the way: sorry, but HF is WAY past being a big, macho hero. He's shrinking and his neck is collapsing into his torso, which is natural part of aging, but it precludes his participation in macho hero roles. He needs to age gracefully and begin accepting Granddad roles! I mean it! Or at least character roles that don't involve having kids under 10 years of age! I wouldn't be so cranky about HF's physical liablities if it weren't for this fact: I only watched this movie because I believed HF still had some credibility -- well, it's shot now! This was a total waste of and hour and three quarters.
I'm OK with Bondisms, McGyverisms, stupid slasher teenager-isms, even some Speilbergian family values and in general I give mindless action flicks a great deal of leeway when it comes to suspending disbelief. Action pictures don't need to have a good plot - actually they don't need any plot - they just need not to be so annoying stupid as to jolt me out of their alternate reality of gadgets, sex and FX. However, this film had none of these *and* a storyline that was *so* annoyingly stupid. that we nearly turned it off before the obvious "surprise" that the contrived plot was leading to. Think of those moments in 24 where people cooperate with the bad guys when it's obvious that they're going to get killed regardless. At least in 24, they wind up getting eliminated from the gene pool - in Firewall - you don't even get that satisfaction. Upon further reflection - we should have turned the DVD off and watched the infinitely less annoying and less predictable Everybody loves Raymond reruns on TV...
The action of the movie happens in Seattle, and it rains for most of
the time. Unfortunately, there is nothing new not only under the sun,
but under the Seattle rain either, at least not in this movie.
'Firewall' looks like a collage of pieces of films we have already seen. A gang kidnaps the family of the hero in order to oblige him commit a crime. It's not the usual bank robbery, but cyber-crime, we are in the 21st century after all. The main character, the archetype of the family man is acted by Harrison Ford. Smart PA Mary Lynn Rajskub is performing some computer tricks to help the hero, playing the same role we have seen her playing for years in the '24' series. A cute dog and a sickish allergic child will play their roles in the script. etc., etc., etc.
I do not care too much about technical details, and I will not analyze how whether this kind of cyber-crime is really feasible. What I care about is emotion, thrill, humor - something that would make it as entertainment to turn the film into a worth watching event. There is very little of these in 'Firewall', and the whole production has a dull gray color of bore and deja vu, only enhanced by the mis-casting of Harrison Ford who is by 15 years past the age of the hero he is playing, and does not hide it.
Don't be sorry if you missed it.
OK, the basic premise of the film is: Harrison Ford plays a computer
security specialist for a bank. People want to steal money from his
bank, but can't get past his fiendish security so they hold his family
(wife, daughter, son) hostage until he does what they want to help them
get their money.
Apart from the fact that this sort of thing has been done soooo many times before, "Hostage" being the latest that springs to mind, Firewall isn't even done very well. The first hour is mainly spent with Ford wandering around the bank or his house, while his family are either sleeping or attempting wildly stupid escapes. All the time at the bank, Ford is wired for sound and vision. Even his PC is taped by the bad guys. Sorry, but in his high-tech world, has he forgotten how to use a pen and paper to write a note of what's happening? Apart from the initial tension, there is really nothing at all in this film that keeps you interested. Even the final thirty minutes, where things start going wrong for the kidnappers, isn't enough to rekindle enthusiasm for a plot that died long before.
Unless you're a huge Harrison Ford fan, don't bother going to see this at the cinema. It's worth a rental when it's released on DVD but unfortunately it's slow, boring, full of ridiculous escape attempts and even when Cox (Paul Bettany) tries at being a bad guy it just doesn't come through as realistic. All in all a sad film throughout, and a story that has been done so many times before and so much better.
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