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In Firewall, Harrison Ford stars as a white-collar businessman forced to protect his family from a group of cold-blooded criminals that have invaded his home.
Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) lives a busy but happy life divided between a hectic work schedule and an active suburban family. As an executive at a banking corporation based in Seattle, Jack is in charge of securing customers’ accounts from fraud and theft. After rushing home one evening to enjoy “pizza night” with his wife Beth (Virginia Madsen) and two children, Jack finds a group of armed and treacherous techie criminals that have taken his family hostage.
British mastermind Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) demands that Jack use his familiarity with the bank’s security system to transfer 100 million dollars in an offshore bank account. Otherwise, his family will be murdered. Unsure of whether he can actually pull off the transaction, Jack worries primarily about protecting his family’s safety, which seems to hinge on his ability to pull off the difficult transaction. Bill has done his homework, and every move Jack makes is under close scrutiny thanks to strategically placed cameras and microphones in both the Stanfield home and Jack’s office. Under these knee-shaking conditions, Jack must figure out how to save his family before it’s too late.
Harrison Ford is certainly well-acquainted with this type of character, a part he perfected while playing Dr. Richard Kimble in the wildly entertaining blockbuster The Fugitive. Ford’s uncomfortable grimace in Firewall is not too far removed from the pressurized, shifty-eyed deserter in the 1993 thriller, though Jack Stanfield is neither as likable nor as heroic as Dr. Kimble. Nevertheless, he wears the part well, and manages to radiate his uneasiness to those of us on the other side of the screen. Also like The Fugitive, Firewall moves briskly to a steady rhythm of action and anticipation, equally predictable and entertaining.
The rest of the cast does a sufficient (if unremarkable) job. Paul Bettany ably pulls off his role as Bill, the cold architect of the scheme, and his underling delinquents are believable enough. One of the few moments of comic relief comes when a minor but likable character, Bobby (Matthew Currie Holmes), is shown playing guitar in a praise band at a charismatic church.
None of the characters in Firewall are likely to be remembered once the movie concludes, but neither will the movie itself leave much of an imprint on its audience. It does what it intends to do, however, by offering 105 minutes of better-than-average entertainment.
It should be pointed out that the movie contains unnecessary foul language and several scenes of moderate action violence. While most of the depicted violence is understandable considering the movie’s genre and the context of its narrative, the picture’s excessive foul language is completely unwarranted.
Address Comments To:
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
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