Harrison Ford is very good at being mad as hell. Probably because in most of his movies for the past decade, Ford has played the hero forced to protect his family as in "Patriot Games," "Air Force One" and now "Firewall." His resounding and trademark gravelly voice and serious "don't mess with me" look hasn't been honed over the years for nothing. Harrison Ford, formerly Jack Ryan and now Jack Stanfield, once again delivers a performance that reminds Ford Fans why we enjoy watching him as the angry and courageous father figure.
In Richard Loncraine's "Firewall," Harrison Ford is a bank security expert whose family is held hostage by a team of computer-savvy bank robbers, led by evil Brit Bill Cox (Paul Bettany). They kidnap Stanfield's family in order to "persuade" him to hack into the very bank security system he designed in order to transfer hundreds of millions in client funds into their offshore accounts. Jack must devise a plan to save his family and retrieve the siphoned accounts from Cox's greedy mitts. Ford's recently fired secretary and faithful family dog figure prominently into the process.
Bettany is chilling as a techno-thief obsessed with getting his $100 million while Virginia Madsen, Carly Schroeder and Jimmy Bennet convincingly scream, cry and fight for their lives as Jack's victimized wife and loving children. Ford is true to form, as he slips back into this familiar role, but it would be refreshing to see him portray a wider range of emotions that stretch him beyond "protective" and "mad." Still, his performance is both real and convincing.
"Firewall" is an entertaining action thriller. The movie is PG-13 for a reason: there is an excess of violence and some swearing, so younger children may not be the best audience.
However, those looking for a good thrill from the movies will enjoy "Firewall," if only for the trademark conviction and intensity that enable Harrison Ford to deliver such lines as "You'll get the money, when I get my family" and "Get off my plane!" with chill-inducing vehemence.
Claire Franczyk is a senior at Nichols.
Review: 2 1/2 stars (out of 4)