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:: Firewall

Firewall opens to ordinary family scenes, disturbingly viewed through the eyes of a stalker. This sense of uneasiness sets the tone for the film, an action/thriller exploring our vulnerability to the nightmare of identity theft. Following Wimbledon, his warm and fuzzy hit of 2004, Richard Loncraine may seem an unlikely choice for director yet Firewall proves to be a good solid film. Loncraine of course has the benefit of an amazing cast behind him. Firewall stars the great Harrison Ford, Virginia Madsen, and Paul Bettany (Wimbledon) with his keen sense of character, wit and charm.

The story centres on banking security executive and respectable family man, Jack Stanfield (Ford). In the midst of a takeover bid on his bank he discovers that someone has compromised his credit card details to run up a string of Internet gambling debts. This incident seems merely irritating during his busy day but is really a foreshadowing of the sinister things to come.

Jack is pushed to his limits when a gang of modern day bank robbers take his family hostage and demand he steal millions of dollars from his own bank as ransom. The charming and sadistic ringleader, Bill Cox (Bettany), knows every detail of Stanfield’s lives and uses this information to work Jack like a puppet. If Jack can breach his bank’s firewall, he’ll look guilty of embezzlement. If he can’t breach it, his wife and two children will die. Jack Stanfield is a man with everything to fight for.

Although at times it stumbles into the repetitive genre of the action/kidnap films, Firewall is very entertaining and does have some depth. The feeling that someone could infiltrate your life so completely is truly disquieting and will have you wondering just how secret your own passwords really are. Harrison Ford looks in the prime of life despite his 63 years and gives at least as good as he gets in every fight scene and stunt. Even a stunt involving a tumble down stairs doesn’t faze him, a fact that bodes well for the rumoured Indiana Jones IV.

Firewall is a popcorn thriller that many will enjoy.