'Firewall' Review By JLFM
"As far as generic action thrillers go, you could do a lot worse than Firewall. But you could also do a lot better."
Firewall explores a common nightmare of many adults- Identity thief. While this doesn't mean much to the technology-embracing generation of today, Firewall is certainly stressing enough at times to scare teens into being a bit more cautious with personal information.
Technology Executive Jack Stanfield has his life thrown into utter turmoil when he's hacked by villainous, web-savvy hackers. While ringleader Bill Cox threatens to kill Jack's family, Jack has no choice but to follow Cox's commands.
While seeing a man's life slowly fall apart may not seem particularly entertaining, Firewall is mostly watchable, if immensely flawed.
If you like your films to be logical, you should stay far away from Firewall. Improbable to the point of laughter, there's too much that characters get away with. Small leaps of faith are to be expected in most thrillers, but there is a limit, and Firewall exceeds it.
Some moments are quite exciting, and may be on the edge of your seat at times. Still, Firewall is hugely predictable, which eliminates much of the thrill Firewall strives to deliver.
Much of the predictability comes from the unoriginality of the production. And if not that, it's the undeveloped characters. Jack Stanfield gets the typical "Wants to save his family" tag that most father characters get. Bill Cox has the "Nasty Villain" tag and he has absolutely no personality. There's even a henchperson that eventually turns good. How cliched is that?
And because the characters are so bland, the actors can onlt do so much. Harrison Ford as Jack Stanfield lacks the franticness or emotion that he displayed so well in The Fugitive, which Firewall borrows heavily from. Paul Bettany as Bill Cox gets all the nastiness out of the things he does as opposed him seeming like a relatively nasty person. Other actors fare more or less the same- Mediocre.
The score by Alexandre Desplat is generic, but it works very well for the film. It's not a score I would want on my iPod, and while some parts of the score are screaming for more development, it serves the film well. In some ways, the score does an excellent job of reflecting the film; It's serviceable, but it's lack of uniqueness and it's generic qualities make it forgettable.
I know I'm pointing out a lot of flaws in Firewall. But you must understand that I don't hate Firewall. Actually, I almost like it. Still, it comes off as too much of a wannabe version of The Fugitive. As far as generic action thrillers go, you could do a lot worse than Firewall. But you could also do a lot better. Firewall is dumb fun, and nothing more than that.