My instincts told me that a film with Harrison Ford would not contain foul language. So much of today’s media output is filled with those four-letter words that we don’t want our children to hear. “Firewall” lived up to my expectations and I was able to enjoy a remarkably thrilling suspense movie with a PG-13 rating.
Harrison Ford played a character named Jack Stanfield, Chief of Security at a mid-sized bank in Seattle, Washington. His character is a family man whose wife Beth (Virginia Madsen) called to tell him that tonight was pizza night, and to hurry home. He explained to Beth that he had a short meeting to attend after work and would be about 45 minutes late. The couple have two children, Sarah and Andy, ages 15 and 9, who are normal, well-behaved children. Beth is an architect who designed their home which is upscale and comfortable. Their dog Rusty rounded out the suburban family picture.
Harrison Ford - Wikimedia
The Plot Thickens
At work that day, our hero was visited by a representative from a collection agency who advised him to pay the $95,000 he owed to an online gambling site. Jack does not gamble, and informed his boss that his computer was obviously hacked.
Bill Cox Makes Himself Known
Also on that day, a company officer, Harry (Robert Forster), introduced the staff to a man who was slated to be a major officer in the company, Bill Cox (Paul Bettany), and Jack joined them for drinks after work. When they left the restaurant, Jack picked up his car and was surprised when Bill Cox forced his way into the back seat with a gun in his hand, and told him to drive home.
The Family is Held Hostage
Cox related that Beth and the children were being held hostage at home by Cox’s accomplices while they planned to use the Security Chief's expertise to steal the bank’s funds through an elaborate scheme, transferring funds through the internet.
Beth and the children were unharmed when the two men arrived at their home. They were frightened, however, and had to submit to the orders of Cox’s men. They outfitted the Chief with an audio transmitter which would prevent him from informing any of his colleagues that he was wired and his family were being held hostage.
The next day, after a sleepless night, Jack was ordered by Cox to go to work. Cox showed up at the office an hour later and introduced himself to the secretary, Janet Stone, as Bill Redmond. He said he would be getting a tour of the bank from Mr. Stanfield.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Virginia Madsen - Wikimedia
Jack is Told of the Plan
Down in the vaults, Cox explained that he wanted to log onto the accounts of the richest bank customers. Jack had designed the software, and knew the process. By taking $$10,000 from each of the 10,000 wealthiest depositors, $100 million dollars would be transferred to Cox’s offshore account. Jack explained that he would need his daughter’s iPad to use as a hard drive and then get access to a wire transfer terminal to send the money to Cox.
The heist would happen the next day. Cox also demanded that the secretary, Janet Stone, had to be fired because Cox did not want her around. Jack had to be brutally irritable to Janet who was shocked at the turn of events.
Cox Took Advantage of Andy’s Allergy
When Jack arrived home after work, he learned that Cox had tricked Jack’s son Andy into eating a cookie with peanuts in it. Andy had told Cox that he was allergic to peanuts, and Cox assured him that the cookie did not contain peanuts. When Jack came in the door, Andy was in shock from the allergen, and Cox was withholding the EpiPen which would save his life. Jack begged him for the pen and was able to inject Andy swiftly.
Jack Followed Cox’s Orders
The next day, Jack went to work and downloaded the files of the accounts he needed onto Sarah’s iPad. Surreptitiously, he used the cellphone of Janet Stone’s colleague, Bobby, to take a picture of Cox’s account information. Cox forced him to delete all the camera files in the building so that their subterfuge could not be recorded. He also made Jack throw the building in darkness, and they left without being discovered. Jack went to a wire transfer office and sent the money to Cox’s account, as he was told.
Jack’s Family is not at Home.
When Jack arrived home, his family was not there. Liam, one of Cox’s flunkies, was still there. Jack realized that Liam was there to kill Jack. They fought and Jack hit Liam with a kitchen appliance, which killed him.
Jack went to his colleague Harry’s house to wait for Harry and Cox. They did not see Jack, but Jack witnessed Cox shooting Harry.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Paul Bettany Wikimedia
Jack Enlists Janet Stone’s Help
Jack needed help and went to Janet Stone’s house. He explained to her that “Bill Redmond” was a thief. She needed to get Bobby’s phone back with Cox’s account information in it. Janet was relieved to hear why Jack had to fabricate her “firing” and drove him in her car to Bobby’s, and from there to the airport where a 24-hour bank allowed him to access Cox’s account once again. He called Cox to tell him what was transpiring. The money was being transferred little by little out of Cox’s account and back to the bank. Jack told Cox to release his family; then he would return the money back to the offshore account.
Jack Hears His Dog Rusty Barking
Jack could hear his dog Rusty barking in the background. Rusty wore a collar with a GPS tracking device since he had the habit of running away. Jack realized that he would be able to follow the GPS directions to find Rusty, and of course his family. He and Janet set out to do just that.
One of the thugs in the car with Rusty and Jack’s family was tired of Rusty’s barking and a short distance from their destination, he stopped the car and let Rusty go. Jack and Janet found Rusty but hadn’t reached the hideout. They continued down a road until Jack spotted Beth’s car. Jack sent Janet to get the police and he stealthily walked to the abandoned cabin on the lake.
Inside the cabin, Cox had shot one of his accomplices, Vel, who had treated the hostages kindly. He took Beth and her children to an upstairs room.
The Fight Scene
Numerous sources have mentioned that Harrison Ford does his own fight scenes. He does not use a stand-in. Well, his fight with Cox was brutal and tiring, and real. It lasted at least five minutes on the screen. It was not hard to watch, because the viewer had already figured out that Jack would be the victor, and he was. He was able to grab a pickaxe and ram it into Cox’s back. His wife and children were waiting for him as he walked, exhausted, towards them.
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Computer - Wikimedia
It is not necessary to be an IT (Information Technology) person to follow this story, but it would help. Movies with this theme have been made before, at a time when the computer was not yet in existence. This upgrade of a bank heist through wire transfers is new though. I enjoyed every minute of this thriller, and I would recommend it as fun to watch.
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