Just Pillow Talk’s Birthday Nightmare: Firewall (2006)
He’s nearing the end of the most miserable series imaginable, and only a couple of minor obstacles left. Not least of which is 2006 stinker Firewall, a film that frankly redefines boredom.
The poor sod’s sanity is hanging by the thinnest thread imaginable, and I’m personally not sure how many of these enormous stinkers he can take. He’s so desperate to find something passable, that he’s even grading obvious shit like this too high.
Still, only a few to go….
The journey continues…
Harrison Ford plays Jack, a security type bloke who presently works for a bank tightening down the hatches. He has a loving wife played by Virginia Madsen and two cunt kids. On a night he is a bit late having a meeting with a potential new employer (Bill, played by Paul Bettany) for drinks, his family gets taken by some thugs in their home. When Jack leaves to go home, Bill gets in his car, pulls a gun on him, and shows him a picture of his family being taken. Turns out Bill has a plan for Jack: he wires him up with microphone and camera and sends him off to work and then has him show him around the bank and tells him he is going to rob the bank. He wants Jack to work around his security so that he can relieve the bank of ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Okay, a bit more than that. Important sidenote to former 24 fans: Mary Lynn Rajskub plays Jack’s secretary. I think it’s written in her contract that all leading men she has to star with, their characters must be named Jack. Easy for her, ya know what I mean?
So now we get a lot of nothing happening, the family holed up in their house while Paul Bettany makes threats that he doesn’t seem to follow through on. Finally he does, when he puts a bullet in one of his guys’ head since he did a shit job of tracking Jack at his place of work. You would think that would put the scare in Jack and his family, but nope. They attempt to escape, which fails. Bill knows everything about Jack’s family, including his son’s nut allergy. Well what do you know that the bastard gives him a cookie with nuts in it and the son gets overcome with a serious reaction. In exchange for the epipen, Jack agrees to help. For real this time.
So Jack works his magic and is able to circumvent the bank’s security system and deposit the money into Bill’s account in the Cayman Islands. Bill takes off and leaves Jack to deal with a suspicious Robert Patrick, who thinks Jack hasn’t been acting himself the last few days. Jack manages to escape and heads home to an empty house. One of Bill’s henchmen shows up telling him they’ve got to go. Well, Jack beats the fuck out of him with a pitcher. That’s really no way to treat a guest Jack. Jack ends up hooking up with Chloe and convinces her, a bit too easily, of his present situation and she agrees to help him.
Jack, using his noggin, had luckily taken a picture of the computer screen when the funds were being transferred from the bank to Bill’s accounts on a cell phone of one of the bank’s employees. The employee was none the wiser. It just so happens too that this employee has a crush on Chloe, so Jack has Chloe ‘borrow’ his cell phone and from there he’s able to download the picture and go to a bank at the airport to reverse the transfers. Jack uses this new found leverage to get Bill to agree to exchange his family for the money.
So besides his family being held, they took the family dog as well. Why? Seriously it’s one less thing to deal with, so why bring the dog? You’ve proven you can kill, so just shoot the damn dog and be done with it. But no, they bring the dog. It just so happens the dog is wearing a GPS collar since he’s prone to running away. Jack is able to track where the dog is on the collar’s website and locates them that way. Jack is able to take out another henchmen by running his ass over. I don’t think his car insurance will cover that.
Then it’s a showdown with Bill, which I have to be honest, is handled pretty well. It’s a well staged fight, with Harrison acquitting himself quite well. It’s a hundred times better than anything in the last Iindiana Jones movie, that’s for sure. Paul Bettany gets a pickaxe in the back, which makes his probability of getting the money very slim. The end.
This movie is quite frankly a mixed bag. First off, computer hacking ain’t the most glorious topic to film (hello Die Hard 4), so the ‘robbery’ isn’t the same as say The Town. Secondly, too much boring shit occurs between the actual abduction of the family and the robbery and all that follows. The only thing that saves the time in between is Paul Bettany, who I happen to like as the villain here. It’s not like he’s over the top, but he carries enough menace to make him worthwhile. So that’s a positive, and so is the final fight between Bettany and Ford. It really is done well, and both men take a pounding. Virginia Madsen has the thankless role of the wife, who really is only the damsel in distress. There’s really nothing for her to do here. The kids don’t even register, which is a good thing actually, because how many annoying kids ruin the fucking movie for you? Raise of hands please? Same goes for Robert Patrick and Alan Arkin, who’s parts could have been played by anyone. Chloe is Chloe, so therefore superb. Okay, not really, she just does her thing for a bit and that’s that. Overall I can’t really recommend this film, but it’s not really a bad film either. I would say it’s a bit less than okay, but compared to the sewer that the films I’ve had to watch reside in, this fucker is gold plated.
I’ll give it 1.5 Smokey the Bears out of 4. Only YOU can prevent, um, wall fires!
The nightmare so far…
1973 The World’s Greatest Athlete 1 / 4
1974 Deranged 0.5 / 4
1975 Shampoo 1.5 / 4
1976 Taxi Driver 3 / 4
1977 Black Samurai 1.5 / 4
1978 The Betsy 0 / 4
1979 Quintet 0 / 4
1980 Hero at Large 2/4
1981 Dogs of War 2.5/4
1982 The Beast Within 0/4: The Orangutan of Doom
1983 King of Comedy 3/4
1984 Blame it on Rio 0.5/4
1985 Lost in America 0/4
1986 Quicksilver 1/ 4
1987 84 Charing Cross Road 1/ 4
1988 Shoot to Kill 1/4
1989 The Mighty Quinn 2/4
1990 Revenge 2/4
1991 The Silence of the Lambs 4/4
1992 Wayne’s World 2.5/4
1993 The Temp 0/4: The Orangutan of Doom
1994 Blank Check 1/4
1995 Heavyweights 0.5/4
1996 Mr. Wrong 0/4- the Orangutan of Doom
1997 That Darn Cat 0/4
1998 Sphere 0/4
1999 Blast From the Past 1.5/4
2000 The Beach 0/4
2001 Down to Earth 0/4
2002 John Q 0- A double Orangutan of Doom!
2004 Fifty First Dates 1/4
2005 Son of the Mask 0/4 The Orangutan of Doom
2006 Firewall 1.5/4
2010 Valentine’s Day 0/4- The Orangutan of Doom