66 and still an action hero - Firewall
IN THE GUISE OF A TECHNO-THRILLER: `Firewall'
Director: Richard Loncraine
Cast: Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen
Storyline: A bank security chief's family is taken hostage and he's forced to hack into the bank's systems.
Bottomline: Here goes the old managain, doing what he's been doing for decades. For Harrison Ford fans only.
Who goes to watch Harrison Ford, or Keanu Reeves for that matter, act? If Hollywood required its actors to act, we wouldn't have had Jennifer Lopez or Madonna doing `U-Turn' or `Body of Evidence.' So 66-year old Ford's back again to announce it's never really too old to be an action hero. This time around, it's his happy family of architect wife, teen daughter and brat son with a peanut allergy and dog, that's been taken hostage by a bank robber Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) and a bunch of geeks, only one of whom really comes across as menacing. After desperate attempts to escape their hold, with chunks that remind you of `Panic Room,' the old man left with no choice, has to help them rob his own bank.
It's at this point that director Richard Loncraine makes a huge mistake: He involves Ford in a sequence where he is supposed to look scared and worried for his family that's been taken away.
Now, how does one pull that off with credibility? Ford tries quivering, shivering and getting wet in the rain to look hassled and still comes across as an actor desperate to get it right. Close-ups just make it worse. But soon enough, the director turns smart and cuts to the chase, literally.
There on, it's the regular Hollywood assembly-line action.
The techno-savvy security specialist uses his gadgets (mobile phone, Ipod, laptop and even the GPS dog-tracking system) to rescue his family from the evil clutches of Bill. Paul Bettany does look sinister but the inconsistency in characterisation lets down the fine actor. One moment, he knows all about Jack's family and is too smart and intelligent, another moment he's trigger-happy depleting his already limited human resources.
If you are in no mood to think, go for this mindless action flick in the guise of a techno-thriller.
Because, if you begin to think, you'll be stuck at `Why is this movie called Firewall?'
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