*½/**** Image A Sound A- Extras B-
starring Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Mary Lynn Rajskub
screenplay by Joe Forte
directed by Richard Loncraine
by Walter Chaw Because 63-year-old Harrison Ford is pushing mandatory retirement age in most industries, his new movie Firewall is aimed squarely at an older, more affluent, less savvy demographic. Casting the aging demigod as a greying bank executive extorted by the usual band of eurotrash techno-terrorists holding his perfect family hostage, it's a fable of paranoia that finds evil in not only the modern cell phone bogey, but other mysterious beasts like iPods, phone cameras, GPS devices, fax machines, and online banking, too. Its never-explained title, in fact, refers to a technology that protects against malignant computer codes floating around the World Wide Web--but rather than try to define this for an audience that's ideally long-resistant to such cogent explanations, it makes the "firewall" a literal thing by devolving into another homeland security allegory, with the craggy paterfamilias meting out sweet vengeance against a gaggle of interlopers. Better to have called it "Antivirus"--but Michael Bay's probably reserved that title for his kick-ass foreign terrorist/avian flu metaphor.