Firewall

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Starring: Harrison Ford, Viginia Madsen, Paul Bettany
Directed By: Richard Loncraine
Rated: PG-13 for some intense sequences of violence.

Final Grade:

Every year thousands and thousands of people are victim of identity theft. That’s what I am told at least. If you ask me the more ID numbers they give the easier it is to steal my identity. As a retuning student I am forced to remember my social security number, my student ID number, my bank account numbers, my driver’s license number, and my health insurance numbers. At work I’m forced to remember a Lawson number (whatever that is) my computer account numbers and about 50 other various numbers. With the world quickly going to an all digital world where hard cash is quickly becoming extict, it’s no wonder that the real way to make money is steal an idenity. Computers make it easy for anyone to learn just about anything about anyone in just a few seconds. Firewall helps show you just how easy it is to hack into anything and take what you want.

Bank security advisor Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) finds his family being held hostage by a bank robber who wants to hack into the bank’s computer system. In order to save his family, he is asked to do one thing, help the bank robbers make off with a million dollar heist. The robbers believe that can frame Jack by having him hack into the system and wire money from the bank to an offshore account with little to no problem. What they don’t realize is that Jack has different plans in store for them.

This film is mediocre at best. It’s a premise that we have seen a million times, and this time it is no different. The bad guys think they have the one up on the family man, but he finds a way to turn the tables on them and still save his family even though their are unbeatable odds stacked against him. The aging Harrison Ford does an OK job in the role, however he’s just getting too far up their in age to play the family man. Action scenes where he is shouting at the robbers are almost laughable. His gruff voice makes him sound like your grandfather, not an action hero. His wife, played by Virginia Madsen proves to be wasted talent as well, as her role is limited to the nearly forgettable damsel in distress and not much more. Also adding her own special flair to the film is Mary Lunn Rajskub aka Chloe O’Brien for you 24 TV show fans. While Rajskub grates on me more than any low rent actress should, I must say she looked less cross eyed than normal, and I think her blinks per second ratio was far less than normal.

The actor that really stood out in the film is Paul Bettany. The Blond British star was once in the running for playing James Bond, and has enjoyed a successful career that is just starting to blossom. In previous years we saw him begin paving his way in Hollywood staring opposite of Kirsten Dunst in Wimbledon, and is set to Wow audiences as Silas in the upcoming movie adaptation of the Dan Brown novel, The DaVinci Code. Bettany, who for some reason that I can not explain is often mistaken to be Jude Law by the average moviegoer, is a joy to watch in this film. He plays the role of the friendly yet fearful villian to near perfection.

Yet the biggest problem with Firewall is that there is nothing memorable. There is nothing that takes this film above or beyond anything that we as viewers have ever seen before. It’s just a recreation of a story that’s been rehashed time and time and time again. There is something that can be fun about watching the good guys win and the bad guys losing in the end, but this film didn’t provide that flair that made it a memorable and fun experience. The mediocre story, the waste of talent and the generic cinematography and direction made this film not a terrible film, just a forgettable one. If you want some pointless fluff to fill a void in your life for a few hours, you can pick up Firewall as a rental. This film is mediocre enough to keep it off of the worst of the year list, however this film is also far too mediocre for me to suggest that you put it on your must see list.

The Verdict:
Firewall is a quickly forgetable film that wastes talent and your time for a few hours and not much more

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