I always enjoy a Harrison Ford movie, and I really was looking forward to Firewall. The premise is that Ford is the computer security expert of a major bank in Seattle. He has helped create a very protective computer to safeguard the customers money. In an unsettling move, his family is taken hostage in their own home. Ford is then given an unthinkable choice: to help steal $100 million bucks, or his family will be killed.

The scenes with the family held hostage are unsettling. There is no way to escape as the criminals are one step ahead, and use cameras to watch their every move. Ford has his back up against a wall, and makes the choices that a loving father would be expected to. The crooks are quite creepy, and exploit their knowledge of the family at any opportunity, sometimes to just be sadistic and exert control.

The heist is a little weak in my mind. Ford ends up home brewing some cobbled together hardware to break into his own system. As some of you know, I have some expertise in this area, and his solution, at least in my mind, wouldn’t likely work. Maybe I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t hired as a consultant, but digitizing a scrolling computer screen, and trying to do optical character recognition seems like quite the longshot to me.

Firewall becomes a tale of the invasion of personal identity. It is rather disturbing to see how the criminals can invade every aspect of Ford and his family’s life. In typical hero fashion, Ford bides his time until he can turn the tables to his advantage.

Overall, I enjoyed Firewall, computer glitches notwithstanding. I just had the nagging feeling that there was very little new here, and the whole plot has been done plenty of times before.

Overall Grade: B

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