Thursday, August 21, 2014

Firewall ★

    Bank security is an onerous profession. Of course, I am not referring to the tangible security in the form of a guard or officer of the law. For, the twenty-first century has evolved the bureaucracy of the banking world to a virtual level of existence, featuring the utilization of wire transfers and mobile transactions. How did we ever conduct our banking needs without technology?

    "Firewall" is a 2006 thriller that incorporates this cyber technology into the age old deed of bank robbery. Harrison Ford, an exceptional veteran actor who remains engaged in projects even today, stars in this underperforming film that features poor acting and a subdued atmosphere. Ford's inadequate performance turns a bad picture into nothing short of a nightmare.

    Jack Stanfield is the IT security chief at Landrock Pacific Bank in the beautiful, yet drab city of Seattle, Washington. He has a lovely wife and two children, consisting of a young boy and teenage girl and lives in a luxurious house hand crafted by his spouse, whose labor is that of an architect.

   We can deduce that Stanfield is passionate about the security system that he has implemented for this small banking chain and that he is a family oriented individual, through the dialogue of his own and other characters; two characterization techniques that can effortlessly inform us of our protagonist's disposition.

    The conflict, which serves as the driving force for any film, becomes an externally personal struggle of two opposing wills. Thus, the ingenious bank robber, who orchestrated the ransoming of Stanfield's family, will stop at nothing to blackmail Jack into transferring an absurd amount of money (in this particular instance $100 million) into his offshore accounts. Where have we seen this premise before?

    Although it is quite accurate that thrillers often times defy logic to create a plot which permeates suspense and action, this notion does not pertain to this specific film. "Firewall" executes this formula in a completely reverse position. The idea that an IT security chief for a lesser known bank could be extorted is not improbable, just quite unlikely. The shortcomings in this sense involve the deficiency of suspense and lack of substance in the action sequences.

    Jack's incompetent attempts to derail the schemes of our criminal mastermind have no concrete ramifications and can never spur the plot where it needs to go. He fails. He's threatened. He tries again. Jack's half-hearted efforts to thwart the opposition only succeed with the aid of a cell phone and a GPS tracker in his dog's collar. Two conveniences that would not have been present a decade earlier in this timeframe.

    Harrison Ford has been the focus of numerous pictures of this stature, most notably as the persona of Jack Ryan. His ordinary appearance and likable personality give him the advantage of persuading the audience into the realm of conceivability. (An IT expert may actually imagine himself as Jack Stanfield.) Nevertheless, Ford has lost his allure in this manner and gives a jaded performance, which is evident in several painstaking scenes, including when Jack begrudgingly fires his quirky secretary.

    "Firewall," a title with no real significance, would have only been saved by a strong showcasing from Ford, which unfortunately never came to fruition. The supporting actors never hold serve with their roles and the external action is limited to the confines of a bank and Jack's home. This all leads to a tedious climax that features a sixty-three-year-old Ford engaging in hand to hand combat. When the credits roll, the feeling of exasperation subsides.

    With a modest revenue obtained from the box office (although compared to the failings of today's films, a $20 million profit is respectable) and another $20 million in DVD purchases, "Firewall" proves that Harrison Ford can still attract audiences. The word escapism once again comes into context. However, if viewers honestly feel that this film relinquishes them from their everyday nuisances and provides an exuberant experience, then there is little I can do for them.

   There is an abundance of Charlie Chaplin pictures that would better fit your entertainment appetite.

No comments:

Post a Comment