Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
Action, Thriller, Crime, Drama
Year of Release:
February 10, 2006 (wide)
“Everything He loves Is About To Be Used Against Him.”
If you like Harrison Ford movies, like I do. And if you like thrillers, like I do. And if you like to sit on the edge of your seat in a movie and root for the good guy, like I really do, then youll probably love FIREWALL.
I know there are plenty of people out there who will pick apart this film because they wanna know if all the cool gadgetry that Harrison Ford used was for real, and they might pick apart the realism of the plot, one we have seen over and over, in one form or another. Are there really bad guys out there who can make someone transfer millions of dollars into their offshore secret bank accounts before the federal security systems know about it? Probably not, or else we would be reading about it in the news within a few weeks of these movies are released. Ok, it can’t be done, but I love to watch the good guy win. Period. I don’t care if its air-tight realistic. I just love watching good prevail. We don’t have enough of it in films these days.
Basic plot: Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford, believable always as a regular Dad and husband who eventually saves his family and the day) is head of network security for a large Seattle based bank. Married to Beth (a beautiful Virginia Madsen), an architect who designed the house they live in, and having two well-adjusted kids, the older Sarah (sweet teen Carly Schroeder) and the younger Andy (the kid with a life-threatening allergy, Jimmy Bennet), besides being more affluent then his job really could make them, they are pretty much the basic all-around American family.
As his bank is in the stressful business of merging with another, Jack is asked by his trusted CEO Arlin Forester (almost a cameo by Alan Arkin) to have a little “PR” drink with his new boss, Gary Mitchell (played by “Terminator”-famed Robert Patrick). Not wanting to miss pizza-night with his family, Jack relents, but only for 45 extra minutes after work. And, of course, this is just enough time for bad guy Bill Cox/Mr. Redman (always wonderfully cool Paul Bettany) and his team of super-stealthy thief/extortionist/kidnappers to capture his family, lock down his house, rig it with security cameras, pack the fridge and get hunkered down for some unsettling criminal activities.
The suspense builds at a gratifying rate as the audience is pulled breathlessly through this film with Jack. Almost getting away. Almost getting his family to safety. Almost getting a secret call or e-mail in here and there, only to be out-witted by Bill, who nearly always knows what Jack will do before he does it.
But, of course, there is (as always) one simple thread that Bill forgot to tie up. Without giving it away, lets just say the family dog, Rusty, has a collar on things. This is all Harrison… er… I mean Jack needs to rescue his family and clear his name of any mistaken deception he pulled on the bank to get his family to safety.
FIREWALL is a lot like watching a western. Just like they used to be. Good guy gets tricked. The gal gets abducted. The bad guy is so smart, you just know he’s gonna win. Good guy gets knocked down so often, you wonder how he can get back up again. Good guy comes back with a vengeance in the last act—destroys the bad guy, saves the gal and the day. Ta-daa.
We are living in the 21st century, however, so our western-of-sorts is not without plenty of guns, stabbings, violence, women and children in peril (a child nearly dies due to an allergic reaction), blood, shootings, murder, one lewd finger gesture, and a token sprinkling of strong language. The f-word is said once and sh** is whispered twice, while the Lords name is used once in vain. The foul language is used mostly by the corrupt characters. There is no sex or nudity.
There is a character named Bobby who is depicted as a regular, nice guy Christian. He is not a hero or a geek per se, but a comment is made about “born-again Bobby” after he gives flowers to Jack’s secretary Janet (Mary Lynn Rajskub). She says he will need bigger blossoms than that to save her soul, as if dating a nice Christian guy would be a bad thing? Later in the movie, Bobby helps in an off-hand way by giving Janet his cell phone. We see Janet enter a church where there are plenty of Charismatic Christians singing about Jesus as Bobby leads them in worship from the stage in an obvious Christian rock group. I thought that it would be kinda cool if they all got together and prayed for Jesus to save the day, but I knew that wasn’t gonna happen.
I am not going to deny it, I had fun watching FIREWALL because it was just believable enough to get my adrenaline going and just safe enough that I knew I wouldn’t feel molested by the contents. Harrison Ford can still carry a film and still smirk at the bad guy, and it is at that moment we all know he’s gonna turn things around. His characters have always given us hope. Hope that the bad guys can be beaten. Hope that you are never too small to make a difference in the face of the enemy. Hope that in a world torn by the reality of war, personal loss, corruption and sin, there is no one too lowly not to be able to declare justice and truth will prevail.
Perhaps we come away knowing that we should be redeeming the time. How we walk in this life may just save or destroy. There is a satisfaction coming out of a film knowing that good has won over evil. In our modern, new-age times, this might come off as “hokey,” but it’s not. We feel good about it because it is what’s right. It is foolish to the world, but spells wisdom to the just.
“See that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: None