Ford ditches his Zimmer frame for one final crack at action hero stardom in this hi-tech crime thriller from Brit director Richard Loncraine. He plays computer security specialist Jack Stanfield, the man responsible for stopping Internet hackers from breaking into his employer's Seattle-based bank.
Things get messy though when smooth-talking English villain Bill Cox (Bettany) kidnaps Jack’s wife (Madsen) and children and threatens to butcher the lot of them unless Daddy breaks through his own impenetrable firewall and steals $100 million dollars.
For some reason Jack doesn’t like the sound of this far from foolproof idea, but what can a 64-year-old granddad do about it? It’s not as if he can still run around at high speed, throw bad guys out of windows and take on someone 30 years younger than him in a fistfight to the death is it? Er, yes actually.
It’s ironic that a film featuring the most ground-breaking and up-to-date technical gadgetry in the world is lead by a star who is clearly about 20 years too old for the part.
Ford is on auto-pilot here, playing the same old “Fugitive”/“Patriot Games” role that made him so popular in the early-90s. But that’s where the similarities end unfortunately.
In the extras section there are a couple of interesting tips for aspiring movie makers in the frustratingly brief “Writing A Thriller” featurette from Joe Forte.
Sadly, the same can’t be said about “Firewall Decoded” - a 15 minute conversation with director Loncraine and his leading man that only serves to show how old Ford now looks - despite his protestation that he still does all of his own stunts.
The only other extra on this sub-standard special features package is the film’s original theatrical trailer. Why anyone would want to watch this before or after the feature itself remains a mystery to us.
“Firewall” lacks any of the excitement, drama or decent action scenes that made these earlier films so successful, and director Loncraine makes a complete dog’s dinner (literally) of the ending. Bettany does his best as the stereotypical English baddie and Rajskub (Chloe from “24”) gives a quirky performance as Jack’s oddball PA, but this strictly by-the-numbers thriller would benefit from a complete system overhaul.
Staring: Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Robert Patrick, Alan Arkin, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Directed by: Richard Loncraine
Extras: Firewall Decoded, Firewall: Writing A Thriller, Theatrical Trailer