Outtakes Brief

No Sparks

click to enlarge Harrison Ford stars in Firewall. - Diyah Pera
Diyah Pera
Harrison Ford stars in Firewall.

"Machine-like precision" is usually something filmmakers aspire to, but the by-the-numbers thriller Firewall is so lacking in excitement or imagination that it feels mechanical in the worst possible sense. The movie often seems to have been written and performed exclusively by barely-functioning robots.

Harrison Ford stars as a bank security expert forced to hack into his own computer system by bad guys who have taken his family hostage. The bad guys all look like underwear models and don't come off as particularly threatening (or interesting), and Ford walks around for the first part of the movie glowering and making a few stupid, easily foiled escape attempts. Nothing much happens during the entire first hour, as the family dutifully cowers before their captors, Ford fumes, and much techno-babble ensues while the terribly dull online heist commences.

A toothless and generic fusion of home invasion movie and high-tech heist flick, Firewall is mainly notable for its numerous plot holes and bizarre leaps in logic that will have audience members scratching their heads or tittering. There's a paltry pay-off to the slog in the last 30 minutes, at which point Ford gets to haul his grizzled carcass across the screen for a few scenes in an unconvincing attempt to make like an action hero. The finale also features exactly one car explosion, which is apparently all the movie's budget would allow. Also stars Virginia Madsen, Paul Bettany, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Robert Patrick. 2 stars.

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