Firewall (2006)

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Firewall: Directed by Richard Loncraine. With Harrison Ford, Virginia Madsen, Carly Schroeder, Jimmy Bennett. A security specialist is forced into robbing the bank that he’s protecting, as a bid to pay off his family’s ransom.

“Jack Stanfield may be an old man but he has a young wife, couple of young kids AND is pretty hot on the old computers, working as he does as head of systems security for a small bank chain that has recently merged with a larger firm. His comfortable life is thrown into disarray when a group of armed men led by the distinguished and cruel Bill Cox seize his house and his family. The deal is simple – unless he helps them transfer millions of pounds from many of the banks accounts by accessing the system, they will kill his family one at a time. Given that none of the men are masked, Jack suspects that this will happen anyway and, while going along with them, frantically tries to work out a way to safety.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThis film did reasonable but unspectacular business at the box office and perhaps that is only fair given that is also a very adequate on the film itself as it is solid but nothing special at all. The plot is a bit of the problem as the computer world and the house both act as constraining factors that do not allow for a great number of set pieces to get the heart racing. Nor does it provide much in the way of mystery although it is clever enough to provide distraction and a general sense of peril. Much of this comes from the performances though, which despite not being brilliant are at least functional for this film. I didnu0026#39;t need a fourth Indiana Jones film to tell me Ford was getting old, because he demonstrates it here with an absurd fight scene at the end. Up till then though he is not actually too bad and age doesnu0026#39;t prevent him from doing anything in particular. Bettany is pretty good alongside him and plays a bit of a cookie-cutter character with a bit of class. Madsen is lumbered with the u0026quot;wife in perilu0026quot; role but fills it well (better than the two kids anyway). The support cast features very minor turns from faces such as Forster, Patrick, Arkin, Rajskub and a few others of note – not sure what attracted them but they add a bit of class to the film anyway.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eUltimately director Loncraine cannot make the most of all these bits and, while doing a good job, he doesnu0026#39;t really ever get the tension ratcheted up to the level of any of the many better u0026quot;normal guy in perilu0026quot; type roles that Ford has done over the last few decades. It is u0026quot;OKu0026quot; but I was a bit disappointed that he didnu0026#39;t manage to make the house feel u0026quot;smalleru0026quot; with the gang in it, or that he never really got anything crackling between Bettany and Ford. It is a reasonable film nonetheless and it distracted me but only that – it will certainly fade in my memory quickly and certainly doesnu0026#39;t do anything for Ford other than keeping him busy.”


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