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|Index||307 reviews in total|
Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) is an executive responsible for the
security of the computer system of a small bank. He is very connected
to his family, composed of the architect Beth (Virginia Madsen), a
teenager daughter and a young son. When the gang leaded by the criminal
Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) invades his house, they force Jack to transfer
a hundred million dollars to a bank account in Cayman Islands as ransom
for his family. When Bill does not release his family, Jack tries to
save them by his own.
"Firewall" is an average thriller, with a screenplay full of inconsistencies mostly due to commercial reasons. The first one, of course, is the name of Harrison Ford, too old for the lead role of Jack Stanfield. He could be the grandfather of Andy, and unfortunately he is awful in the action and dramatic scenes. Paul Bettany is excellent, as usual, but his mean and cold character is restrained and could be more evil, for example breaking the legs of the boy, as promised to Jack, or killing Jack's family in the end. But this is a Hollywood movie, it must be a pleasant and profitable entertainment, therefore the conclusion is always predictable, with the good guy killing the bad guy and saving his family. When Jack leaves the bank after hitting Gary Mitchell, he goes home and the police never arrives there. When Jack transfers the funds from the Bill's account, the bank clerk calls the police, but nothing happens later. There are so many "holes" in this forgettable story that it is impossible to like it. Harrison Ford must retire from action movies, or at least select better screenplays more suitable for his age. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Firewall"
This movie is not good. The dialogue is hackneyed, if not cliché. This
is basically a watered down version of "Hostage" that has been
technologized up to the standards of "24". Harrison Ford is too old for
this part. You don't believe that he can survive the things he does in
the film. He is not intimidating saying those lines of grit and
determination. It seems as if they were going for those "Get off my
plane" moments he is known for, but he just didn't pull it off in this
film. Not to mention that the ending, I won't spoil it for you, but it
was not done satisfyingly.
On the bright side (silver lining?), Some of the cinematography was done pretty well. As far as the plot, it starts off well, but it seems like they were rushed or at a loss for how to resolve it. Overall, the brightest spot is Mary Lynn Rajskub's performance. She does a great supporting job in the film.
If you are thinking about watching this, Rent the Fugitive and Air Force One, and pop some popcorn. You'll enjoy it more, I promise.
Having seen the trailer for this movie some time ago, my wife was
rather keen to watch it, so when it appeared on the shelves of
Blockbuster we parted with a few quid to rent it- huge mistake.
This movie is just woeful on so many levels, not least its insipid plot and dire screenplay which limp aimlessly to a thankful finish. Just about every Hollywood cliché has been thrown into this pathetic attempt at a thriller. The characters are barely given any kind of depth or background, making it hard to care what happens to them one way or the other. One might have expected a lot more from Paul Bettany, his role as the bad guy is wholly unconvincing, a far cry from his performance in Knight's Tale as 'Jeff'. In fairness, the poor script gave Bettany little to sink his teeth into; it's hard to imagine why he was ever cast for this part.
The villainous nature of his character is seen for the briefest of moments when he shoots his own henchman (killing him instantly from a single bullet to the shoulder amazingly enough), and encouraging young Andy into eating a cookie while knowing of his peanut allergy which causes the young kid to have a near fatal reaction. Partway through the film, due to Ford's non compliance, he instructs one of his gang to injure the boy's knee, then seconds later, amid pleas from Ford, basically says 'no, don't...', about as intimidating as a blade of grass.
Throughout the film I was optimistic for some unexpected twist to liven up proceedings, maybe his wife was in on it or perhaps the whole family would die from a peanut allergy and convulse in one unified theatrical display. It simply lacked originality from start to finish, not even the paltry action sequences had the capacity to arouse any audience anticipation or excitement.
Couple this with the numerous and glaring continuity gaffs throughout the movie and you have a thoroughly disappointing film. Do yourself a favour and don't see it.
Harrison Ford gives his worst performances as a computer security
expert who's family is kidnapped so he'll help a band of thieves rob
his bank. From the first frame to the last Ford looks like he'd rather
be anywhere other than making this film. His displeasure carries over
and makes this an almost impossible movie to get through. If he doesn't
want to be here why should we? I kept feeling that if Ford were a
member of my family and I was kidnapped I'd ask the kidnappers if I
could stay with them.
Its a shame really since this is a good idea and a good cast thats wasted by the unhappiness of our lead. Given the choice I'd rather watch a TV screen full of static rather than see this again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I went into this film thinking, hey, maybe ol' Harrison can still make a good action flick. Unfortunately, I was mistaken. Never have I seen him in movie that made me think of him as an old man, but this one succeeds. There's a scene where he hops down onto a porch and he stumbles and falls over. I know some my think of this as his character's dogged determination to solve his predicament, but I burst out loud laughing in the theatre. The parting shot of the movie was one of the most clichéd thing I've seen in a while too. Hey, let's slow-mo then freeze frame the family with the burning house from whence they escaped replete with the Benji-esquire dog who's character's sole purpose seems to be to bark endlessly to annoy the nefarious kidnappers. Thought I was watching a John Woo flick for a minute there at the end (cue the white doves anyone?). No my final beef with Firewall comes in the form of Ford's acting. LEARN HOW TO PLAY A DIFFERENT CHARACTER HARRISON! He's been playing the same grim-faced, expressionless, ruffian for the last 15 or so years. What ever happened to acting like a fun, life-loving guy like Han Solo or Indiana Jones or even the street racer in American Graffiti? Guess actual acting is too hard for you eh, Harrison? Don't worry, you'll only have to attempt that about 3 times in your career and the foolish American movie-goer will gobble up all the other crap you put out on the screen. If you absolutely must see this movie, rent it...and I mean, rent it after it's no longer on the 2-day rental rack or when you have a free rental coupon.
As dismaying as it is disheartening, "Firewall" is one of the least
original, least interesting and least necessary films I have seen in
ages. This is the umpteenth version of that old chestnut about a bank
executive whose family is held hostage while he is forced to assist the
kidnappers in robbing the bank. However, as this is the 21st Century,
the modus operandi of these criminals involves not guns and masks but
coded passwords and computerized money transfers. One would have to be
the biggest computer geek going to understand even half of what the
characters are doing at any given time in this film, though it scarcely
matters since the story itself is so distressingly hackneyed that one
is already watching the screen with an eye half-cocked to one's watch
Poor Harrison Ford, looking like he hasn't slept in days (and this is BEFORE his family is kidnapped), seems to sense that he is indeed at the nadir of his career and thus turns in a performance that is so lacking in energy and interest that he seems more bored with the material than we are. Paul Bettany has some effective moments as the smarmy criminal ringleader, but none of the other actors is given even a fighting chance with this wretched excuse for a screenplay. The only truly pressing question raised by "Firewall" is why anyone even bothered to make this film in the first place.
The trailer for this movie is awesome,but the movie is totally pathetic and a big deception.Harrison Ford made a pathetic film after another pathetic film called Hollywood Homicide.The movie is a copy of Hostage,an excellent movie with Bruce Willis.But that movie was more original,more fun and more unpredictable.This film is totally predictable and Harrison Ford is very old for this kind of characters.I slept on a part of this pathetic movie and I was so bored I did not pay much attention to this film.I do not recommend this horrible movie and if you want to see a great thriller film watch Hostage.I cannot believe that Harrison Ford was on this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Here is what I'd predict Harrison Ford's letter to America after
viewing this movie would be:
Dear Moviegoers --
Hi, I'm an overrated grizzled old actor named Harrison Ford. Instead of giving it up after the horrendous 'Hollywood Homicide', I'm back with another movie! My new movie is 'Firewall'. It's a slow-moving thriller surrounding me. I'm a well-off, older but still incredibly sexy and wealthy investment banker with two whiny children who can't act and a wife whose twenty years younger than me played by Virginia Madsen. You may remember Virginia Madsen for giving an incredible multi-layered performance in 'Sideways', but now she abandons all her artistic integrity to stagger through a crappy role in my new movie. These friggin' terrorists kidnap my family, and I kick the crap out of 'em and save the day. One is played by British actor Paul Bettany who gives the finest performance in this lackluster of a film, and I kick his ass! The ending is sappy and the only redeeming quality about the 105 minute film is some great action sequences toward the end. Oops, I almost forgot there is a cute little puppy dog in the movie who gets into some wacky trouble.
- Harrison Ford
P.S.: Please stop calling me asking for your money refunded.
(Grade: C- (screened at AMC Deer Valley 30, Phoenix, Arizona, 2/11/05)
I have absolutely *had* it with today's major film critics. I'm not
sure if it is simply an occupational hazard where film critics (who are
forced to view hundreds and hundreds of movies each year) simply become
jaded to anything but the most original, different, off - the - beaten
- path, out - of - the - box, innovative motion pictures or if they
simply are so far out of touch with the average viewer that they are
incapable of wallowing at our level of intellectual stimulation.
Whatever the cause, film critics continue to prove that only regular moviegoers who happen to have multiple graduate degrees in film, literature, and visual arts will understand their explanations of *what* is so good or bad about a particular movie. Further, only those of us who have actually *seen* the 12,000 or more films required to maintain a mental database of "what has already been done in film" can appreciate their basis for phrases like "tired", "cliche'", "retread", etc. The almost universal panning of "Firewall" may be the best example to date of this trend.
OK, I'll admit it...I must be a typical brain-dead consumer who plays right into the hands of the studios who attempt to regularly pry my hard - earned money away from me by pumping out "formulaic" films designed to optimize profit at the expense of "art". The simple truth, though, is this: films like "Firewall" are sometimes *exactly* what I am after...an escape! "Firewall" manages to put the viewer into the shoes of another "everyman"...or at least into the shoes of a man that an average Joe would like to someday be. Is it fantasy? Yes. But is it *plausible* fantasy and this is precisely what makes such stories so exciting. In this case, the 'normal guy who has started to arrive' at the rewards of his life's work is played (as perfectly as he has in so many similar roles) by Harrison Ford.
The plot them revolves around placing this character into a situation that we, if given the same stakes, would like to believe that we could also work through. Suffice to say that there are heroes and villains and a number of characters in - between who serve to help or hinder Ford's character...and in the process some of the complexities of our world land right in the lap of a man who would have preferred to not know about them to begin with. However, faced with the realities of the situation, Ford's 'Jack' rises to apply his own measure of right and wrong as best as he can.
To identify with this goal is not something that we should be ashamed of as viewers.
In the end, of course, sacrifices are made but the unwilling hero finds some measure of closure...no doubt with a more broad view of his world. The price to be paid, the extent to which his journey ends nicely (if at all), and the lessons learned (at least by the viewer) would require spoilers to disclose....suffice to say that some are predictable and some are not.
In the end, as long as we (the "average viewers") continue to watch the 6 to 36 movies per year that we do and as long as our lives continue to only cross the path of Hollywood on occasion, films like "Firewall" will continue to be an excellent escape for us and (I hope) we will continue to reward the studios for producing them without apology.
Unfortunately, the career critics will continue to become more and more distanced from the sensibilities of regular people and they will continue to discount such motion pictures as "below them".
For me, this is just fine....in a strange way, the critics are still serving their purpose: providing guidance as to what I should or should not view. The difference, of course, is that I believe now more than ever that I will be happy with the results if I do exactly the opposite of what they suggest.
In this case, viewing "Firewall" against their advice was absolutely the right decision to make.
Poor Harrison Ford. This guy just can't catch a break. Every film he
does gives viewers the haunting feeling of "Haven't I seen this
already?" Firewall is all about a wealthy doctor who loses everything
when a man with one arm murders his wife. Not really, but it may as
well have been.
The characters are lifeless, the plot is played and the story lines are really just too hard to believe (the bad guys are checking their bank account balances online using their laptops in the middle of the Washington wilderness?) I guess I shouldn't have expected much, but to be honest, I was disappointed.
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