Jack Stanfield (Harrison Ford) has spent his entire adult life trying to protect a major Seattle bank from the most sophisticated hackers and thieves. In doing so, Stanfield has built a nearly foolproof security system that has made the bank’s network nearly untouchable from the outside. Aside from his job, Jack has a gorgeous lakeside house, a sleek Cadillac, and a “super-mom” wife (Virginia Madsen) who not only juggles her architecture business but also plays stay-at-home mom with the couple’s two children.
On the verge of a monumental bank merger, Jack has plenty to worry about already, including keeping the bank’s impotent new owner, Gary Mitchell (Robert Patrick), from compromising the bank’s loyalty to its thousands of customers. So when a stranger shows up at the bank claiming that Jack owes an internet gambling site $95,000, Jack passes the nuisance off as an inconvenience, unaware that his identity has been compromised in a very dangerous way.
That night, business partner Harry Romano (Robert Forster) introduces Jack to Bill Cox (Paul Bettany), a prospective client. After the meeting, Cox hops in Jack’s car and pulls a gun on him, accompanying him home where the rest of the Stanfield’s have already been taken hostage by Cox’s accomplices. It turns out that Cox knows everything about the Stanfield’s, from their bank account numbers to Jack’s son’s food allergies.
Soon, the hostiles reveal their intentions: they plan on stealing $100,000,000 from the bank’s 10,000 richest clients, all without touching a single bill. Jack is there inside man; they intend on forcing him to move the money to an account of their own. With the lives of his family at stake, Jack races against time to come up with a way to break his own security system.
But Jack soon realizes that Cox and his cronies do not plan on letting the Stanfield’s go alive, and he begins a desperate attempt to turn the tables on the hostiles.
Though it is relatively predictable and unoriginal, Firewall has its bright spots most notably performances by Harrison Ford and 24 star Lynn Rajskub. Rajskub’s character, Janet Stone, is Jack’s secretary and plays a key role in the latter half of the film.
Though it is tension-filled and explosive, Firewall also fails to tie up numerous loose ends and viewers are left scratching their heads once the credits role. We are unsure whether Harry was involved in the heist or not (he is murdered anyway, however). One of the hostiles shows a kind heart in the final minutes, but viewers are left unaware of what became of him (the other hostiles end up dead one way or another, but we never know of the one’s fate). The final sequence of the film is extremely corny and awkward. It seemed as if the moviemakers simply ran out of money and needed to end it abruptly. It was one of those movies where everyone in the theater just stayed in their seats, wondering if they had missed something.
At first glance, Firewall is an entertaining film, but it lacks all the intangibles (i.e. clever plot lines, interesting ending, etc.). It fails to tie up the loose ends and leaves the viewers wondering what became of certain characters. Despite some strong performances, Firewall fails to deliver anything I haven’t already seen before.