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The family of the top network guy for a bank are being held hostage until he transfers a lot of money to the bad guys’ bank account.

This review has SPOILERS, if you read any further I give away all the surprises in the movie, assuming either that you care or that there are any. Just so you know.

Sigh. I was not really happy with this movie. I loved Air Force One, but if I want to see that one again, I’ll watch it, not this pale and watered down imitation. Mr. Otter summed it up nicely: “What was there not to like? it was exactly like every other movie Ford has made recently, I knew what I was getting when I sat down in the theatre, and that’s what I got.”

And there’s something sad about that. But, on the other hand, according to interviews that Ford has given, that’s what he is trying to do: he only wants to make one movie a year, and if he makes the kind of movie that people expect and that did well last year, he won’t have to do more than one.

And that kind of sucks, you know? I mean, it’s sensible, it’s a good attitude and admirable to want to spend time with your family and all…but this was just not a very good movie. Certainly not as good as some of the others JUST LIKE IT that he’s done, which says to me that he’s either not really giving it his best shot, or he needs to find better scriptwriters. Or both.

Anyway. Kind of dull action movie, since everyone knows that his family will survive and the bad guys will be foiled and the money will be put back and everything will be fine. It was nice to see him having a little trouble with all the action and fighting stuff, as befits a man d’un certain age who has a desk job. I liked Mary Lynn Rajskub, who played his secretary, a lot. I also thought that Paul Bettany was good, and was very interested to find out (from IMDB, I didn’t recognize him) that he played Dr. Maturin in Far Side of the World. And (amazing for me, I’m bad at faces) I did recognize one of the network guys as the bad terminator from Terminator 2: Judgment Day

But.

You knew this was coming, right?

Okay, call me spoiled, but I come from a generation that expects more from an action movie than just, well, action. I want good car chases (none here). I want at least a semi-believeable ending (nope) and most of all, I want some good one-liners, a little witty repartee, even just once or twice in the course of the movie. But no. This is a VERY SERIOUS movie, ponderous, full of its own importance. Not amusing. Not witty. Nothing funny about this one, nosiree. And that’s sad, because the best action movies are often the ones with the best senses of humor.

And then there’s the ending…even given the premise, and going along with the techie stuff (not so bad, actually, as these movies go) and all…the reality police must still intervene: why on earth would the kidnappers have TAKEN THE CUTE YET STUPID AND YAPPY DOG ALONG with the family when loading them in the van for travel?

Why wouldn’t they have shot the dog as one of the first things they did, to make the family stay in line (“the kid gets it next…”). And having a GPS on the dogs collar, that was the STUPIDEST ending for a serious action movie that I’ve seen in a long time. That just made me roll my eyes and sigh.

If you must see this one, rent it, don’t pay 10 bucks for it (and actually, I think it has already disappeared from movie theaters, thank goodness). Cook up some popcorn, grab a cat or a computer, anything to give you something else to be amused by…because this movie will just not do it.

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