Dear Mr. Ford,
Audiences around the world have enjoyed your movies very much. You have a sort of hard-boiled air that makes your heroes both believable and likable even though they seem strangely the same. The problem with your latest film, "Firewall," other than the title having nothing to do with the movie, is that you seem to have crammed all your films into one short film and while you work as the same hero shown to us many times before, the rest of the movie does not.
Let me cite a few reasons why this cramming together of your action and thriller films doesn't work here. The first hour of your film is, well, needless. Don't get me wrong. It is enjoyable trying to watch you outwit the bad guy, here portrayed well by Paul Bettany; none of this hour builds any tension though, so when the action and killing does start, it's a bit out of the blue.
And pardon the audience for wanting a little more background information on why their hero is such a hero, beyond the simple fact that he is being portrayed by Harrison Ford. Maybe it would be nice to know how a computer nerd got tough enough to take on his family's kidnappers and not sleep for about three nights without a single cup of coffee.
With such a limited plot, I would think that the film would need plenty of filler like maybe background on our hero and villain. But instead there is only about 10 minutes of a rushed establishment and then right into the action.
Don't misunderstand, Mr. Ford, the film was just as long as it could be and could have easily been much shorter had the needless middle section come out. But maybe with a little more effort some fleshed out characters could have been created.
I will give you credit though, Mr. Ford, because you and the rough-and-tumble fist fight at the end of the film manage to salvage this movie from its doldrums. Once again you manage to capture the manic sense of a family man whose family is in great danger. And although you are reaching your mid-60s you still know how to take and give out a few very rough punches. It also helps when you have a villain up against you whose actions are both chilling and creative, although unexplained.
The problem is, Mr. Ford, that you can't keep making films with the same character. I must ask you when was the last time a screen wife of yours wasn't kidnapped or killed. It seems to be a dangerous job marrying any of your on-screen characters. But one must admit that you are good at what you do. Your screen presence kept me awake for the first hour and made the end seem, somehow, remotely possible.
I just hope, Mr. Ford, that you can place yourself in a more
interesting film next time.