A review of “Firewall” by Jeanne Aufmuth


Stars: * 1/2

Rating: PG-13 for violence

Run Time: 1 hour, 44 minutes



Harrison Ford must be in arrears on his rent; no other plausible reason for the megastar to endure this inane “thriller” that trots out every stereotype in the book.

Ford looks every inch his sixty-three years as he plods his way through his masquerade as Jack Stanfield, head of network security for Seattle-based Landrock Pacific Bank, a high-yield lender that protects its clients from unnecessary risk a la a series of sophisticated security systems designed by the man himself.

Jack’s got the requisite two kids and a swanky waterfront dream home designed by architect wife Beth (Virginia Madsen). He meets Bill Cox (Paul Bettany) at a routine client meeting; routine that is until Cox reveals himself as a ruthless swindler bent on cracking Jack’s system.

The wily Cox’s own insurance policy is a methodical study of the Stanfields that ends with him taking the wife and kids hostage. In exchange for their life Jack is asked to breach his own program and siphon funds from his ten thousand wealthiest customers into Cox’s offshore account.

Naturally Indiana Jones won’t stand for unconscionable threats and vows to beat Cox at his own game. Which shouldn’t be too difficult considering the cookie-cutter clichés that any hack can see coming a mile off; among them mutinous minions, surveillance snafus, and so on. 

Joe Forte’s convoluted script dances to a contemporary beat by featuring a shaggy family dog and his cutting-edge collar (you had to be there), updated off-site security modifications and the lowest blow of all: a kid with a deadly peanut allergy.

All looks sleek and stylish but even the scrumptiously suave Paul Bettany can’t salvage a promising cat-and-mouse game that culminates in an explosive fireball that leaves nary a scratch on our hero. The concept of identity theft lends a whiff of genuine fear and vulnerability but it all goes south in the end.