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June 2006

Firewall DVD Review

By Kam Williams

Firewall DVD Review


Cast: Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Robert Patrick, with Robert Forster and Alan Arkin
Director: Richard Loncraine
Format: AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: Warner Home Video
DVD Release Date: June 6, 2006
Run Time: 104 minutes
DVD Features:
Available Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
"Firewall Decoded: A Conversation with Harrison Ford and Richard Loncraine"
"Firewall: Writing a Thriller" featurette
Theatrical Trailer

Harrison Ford in Familiar Role in Thriller Available on DVD

Jack Stansfield (Harrison Ford) is living the American Dream in the lap of luxury in a sprawling, split-level, suburban Seattle mansion blessed with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. But that dream turns into a harrowing nightmare when a gang of goons hatch a well-planned plot to kidnap his wife (Virginia Madsen), and kids, 8 year-old, Andrew (Jimmy Bennett), and 14 year-old, Sarah (Carly Schroeder). Knowing that as his bank's security specialist Jack is capable of cracking its computer codes, the intruders demand that he steal $100 million from his employer as ransom. He reluctantly agrees, but this, of course, only implicates him in the heist. If Firewall's fact pattern sounds vaguely familiar, one need only remember that Ford has played practically the same character several times before, most obviously in Frantic (1988) and The Fugitive (1993).

There's not much new about Firewall, despite the movie's generous portions of pretentious techno-babble. At heart, it's just another generic, pressure-cooked, non-stop action thriller about an honest Everyman forced against his will to the wrong side of the law for the sake of his family. Unable to avail himself of help from the authorities, he then has to rise to the occasion in a battle of wits against a sadistic villain. To the extent that you are a diehard Harrison Ford fan, you are likely to enjoy this latest variation on a tried-and-true theme. Delivering a vintage performance, the spry 63 year-old proves himself still capable of mixing it up convincingly in an assortment of fight scenes. Plus, Paul Bettany's equally-inspired turn as the despicable villain only adds to one's ultimate enjoyment of the score-settling resolution.

Another edge-of-your-seat, roller coaster ride from a matinee idol everybody loves to root for.

Very good (3 stars)