Sunday, February 12, 2006

Firewall *NOT* A Bomb

My mom and I saw Firewall (starring the illustrious Harrison Ford) on Friday night. Contrary to most reviews, the movie is decidedly not a bomb.

Firewall tells the story of a bank security officer who is held hostage, along with his wife (Virgina Madsen) and two kids (and dog), by a group of bank robbers. (5 robbers, led by Paul Bettany.) As the tale goes, the robbers are after $100 million in electronic funds and Ford is the guy who's going to make it happen. Of course there are problems along the way, leading up to a frantic, last-minute save by Ford. (And I don't think sharing that spoils the movie in any way, shape or form.)

Firewall, at heart, is an action movie. It's not a thrill-a-minute action movie and the characters don't have all that much development, but that's what it is. It's rather reminiscent of other Harrison Ford 'action' flicks, such as Air Force One or Patriot Games (though the plots for those two are inarguably better and more interesting). The movie didn't always have me on the edge of my seat or completely engaged but it's a good ride. It is engaging and interesting and Ford is, of course, excellent.

My biggest problem with the film is the bad guys. There are 5 of them and, of those 5, only 2 of them are truly 'bad,' Paul Bettany (the leader) and his second-in-command. The other 3 are more washed-out bad guys who don't belong in the setting. They're simply not cut out to be hardcore, badass bank robbers who'll do what needs to be done to steal the money. And that's where the movie fails. If the bad guys aren't really bad, aren't believable as an intelligent enemy, then who cares about anything else? Why is it so hard for Ford to win? The answer here is Bettany who brings a glimmer of personality to the mix but even that isn't enough to satisfy me.

On the whole, a decent movie. Certainly not Ford's best but an admirable go and worth watching, either in the theater or not. If you're a Harrison Ford fan, see this one. It's the first thing he's done in 3 years and who knows when we'll see him on the screen again.