Firewall (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner29/03/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 105 mins

Something of a throwback to the Harrison Ford thrillers of the 90s, this is an average thriller with the occasional fun moment.

What’s it all about?
Harrison Ford plays grizzled IT expert Jack Stanfield, who works as a computer security specialist for a prestigious bank. When his wife (Virginia Madsen) and two kids (Carly Mean Creek Schroeder and Jimmy Hostage Bennett) are taken hostage by biscuit-eating bad guy Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) and his ruthless band of IT-savvy bank robbers, Jack has no choice but to go along with their plan and help them steal $100 million.

The Bad
If Spike Lee’s Inside Man had one of the best planned screen heists in recent memory, then Firewall surely has one of the worst, with a key element being overlooked and almost scuppering the plan before it’s begun. Although intended to increase tension, this has the opposite effect of undermining the threat Ford is facing and diminishing the tension as a result.

There are other problems too. The first half of the film drags considerably, entire sub-plots and characters disappear at crucial points and there’s at least one element of the plan that simply defies belief. There are also a couple of unintentionally laughable twists that backfire because they haven’t been set up properly.

The Good
That said, the film does have its moments and almost redeems itself with an exciting climax. In addition, the splendidly named Alexandre Desplat’s superb score sustains the illusion of tension and momentum, even when there isn’t any.

The supporting cast are good but mostly wasted and the casting of Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe from 24) only serves to remind you how much better 24 is at this sort of thing. Ford’s still just about got it, action hero-wise, but Virginia Madsen really deserves better than this.

Worth seeing?
In short, this is just about enjoyable enough while you’re watching it, but its stupidity is quickly revealed during pub-based scrutiny.

Film Trailer

Firewall (12A)
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Content updated: 14/12/2017 09:43

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