DVD Reviews | Jun 3rd, 2006
Starring Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Robert Patrick, Robert Forster, Virginia Madsen, Alan Arkin, Mary Lynn Raskub
Written By: Joe Forte
Directed By: Richard Loncraine
Studio: Warner Brothers
Buy on Amazon.com link
This is your typical Harrison Ford movie. I’m not saying that as a bad thing either. I like those movies where he plays Mr. Joe Schmo and he fights to save his family. That’s what he’s good at doing. Well that’s what Firewall pretty much and is quite an entertaining thriller. I just don’t know how much longer Harrison Ford can do this since he’s hitting close to 90 years old.
Harrison Ford plays Jack Stanfield, a vice president of security at a Landrock Pacific Bank. They just got state-of-the-art technology for their bank system and he’s the only one in the bank that can get around it. Why? He’s the one who designed it. So Jack meets up with some clients to talk business one night and his family gets kidnapped within their own home. Jack heads home after the meeting but the client he talked to, jumps in his car and has a gun on him. They go back to his house and He explains to Jack that he has to break into his own bank. He has to transfer 100 million dollars to their overseas bank account or else they will kill his wife, son and daughter. Jack tries a few ways to get out of this but ends up having to come with up something clever to get around the bank, or think of something sneaky very fast or they are all dead.
I thought Firewall had its moments and I enjoyed watching it, but it just didn’t feel like anything new to me. I’m sure this kidnapping bankers thing has been done before in movies, just not dealing with things on the Internet. But more or less, there have been other films similar to this. I don’t know what it is about Harrison Ford but he seems to just truly fit into these roles really well. He seems like the Mr Man who stands up to fight back for his family kind of guy. He is showing his age lately and the action has been downgraded in this movie. You get more of a suspense thriller than an action flick. But i’m sure Ford is sick of doing those action flicks all the time, but I believe he did most of his stunts again. I admire that about him. The guy is old, but i’m sure he can still kick the crap out of me.
I thought the acting was okay, nothing that really stood out from other movies. Ford does what he does best. Starts out all scared and then slowly gets pissed off enough to fight back art the bad guys. Paul Bettany played a villain really well because he wasn’t over the top. He was relaxed & smooth, but still treacherous and bad when the time came. His henchman were more predictable and generic than the other characters were. Well actually the henchman weren’t THAT generic. Because they all looked geeky and young except one dude who was in Black Hawk Down. But they were predictable in that the one geek guy who starts to feel bad for the family and tries to help them, gets killed in the process. I’ve seen that on every season of 24 pretty much. Then you have some young hothead who wants to hurt everyone. Plus another thing that happened in the movie that seemed to be in other films was when Ford fires his assistant. But then pleads for her help in the end to get his family back. Just lots of things like that made the movie predictable, but maybe i’ve seen too many movies to know it was predictable?
For bonus features, there’s 2 featurettes. A sit down conversation with Harrison Ford and director Richard Loncraine. Some things were interesting to hear but listening to Harrison Ford talk for over 15 minutes is kind of dull. It’s not the way he says it or it’s not because he’s boring; it’s just the way he talks. It almost puts you asleep when he does interviews. He should almost pretend to be his character so that way he’s a little more into it when he talks with someone. The other featurette is about the writer Joe Forte, who wrote the book in his garage (which is a writing/art studio). He just talks about the story, the characters and how he did research. The last extra on the DVD is a trailer and that’s about it folks.
Firewall is your standard Harrison Ford flick that will please some, and bore others. I was in-between. I liked the movie but at the same time it felt like nothing new to me. I’d say rent this DVD first to see if you think it’s buy worthy. I thought the film was okay.
Firewall Decoded: A Conversation with Harrison Ford & Richard Loncraine
Firewall: Writing A Thiller
ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen 2.40:1 Color (Anamorphic)
English, Spanish, French
Favorite Scenes: I like all the scenes when he was at the office building for the bank. The scene where the family tries to escape at night in the rain.
Running Time: 105 minutes