For shame, it’s finally come down to this. It’s time to admit Harrison Ford’s prowess as an action star has past. How he plans the ever continuous shoot of “Indiana Jones 4” I’ll never know. “Firewall” is a healthy indicator that Ford just can’t handle it anymore. And it’s a pretty good indicator that Ford also hasn’t made a watchable film in a good while. The worst aspect of “Firewall” is that we’ve seen this a thousand times. And a thousand more times. There’s your poor workaday shlub taken hostage in his own home. And the checklist: Family disharmony, check! Spunky oldest daughter, check! Wise doting wife, check! Wide eyed youngest child who plays a big role in the climax, check!
Do all the events unite this family to beat the bad guys? You bet they do. “Firewall” is yet another in a million of these cheesy thrillers, except this time, the man is the victim, while his wife attempts to outdo the hostages inside. La dee da. And worst of all, the film can’t force good performances from a great cast. Bettany is a typical British villain, Virginia Madsen is a character too smart to be realistic, or believable, Ford plays this role in his sleep, while Alan Arkin and Robert Patrick are sadly pissed away in a boring sub-plot. And of course let’s not forget the villains who can corrupt Jack’s home, know everything about him and his family right down to their allergies, yet can’t quite figure out that understanding the bank would gain more of a purpose.
But then, without common sense, Harrison Ford wouldn’t be in this. We’d be robbed of Madsen being the wise maum of the family outwitting the evil dastardly men, we’d miss Bettany’s character feeding peanut cookies to a boy with a peanut allergy sans the violence, and we’d miss Harrison Ford who looks hanged over and out of breath most of the time. Ford is at his worst here, mumbling about eighty percent of his lines, while the dialogue he has playing off the villains consists of him literally growling. “You won’t see a dime,” he growls while deleting money from a Swiss bank account the villains possess.
They can’t break into a bank, and they can’t protect their own bank accounts, then what the hell is the point of watching this movie? Ford though is awful. He often sounds like an old Prospector committing the usual one-liners we’ve seen in these flicks. “Don’t hurt my family, I’ll give you anything you want,” and the old chestnut, “We’re playing by my rules, now, asshole.” You go, Indiana Solo! Sheesh, I almost expected him to mutter “Dag Nabbit!” while pumping his fist in the air at some point. Con Sarnit. “Firewall” is a bust, mainly because it’s such a vapid vehicle for every single cast member that it’s difficult to actually enjoy. Characters are stock, situations rehashed, and the ultimate resolution is horrible. Ford, call it a day.