Jack Stanfield (Ford), a computer-genius security expert for a major bank is forced to crack his own systems when an excellent boo-hiss baddie (Paul Bettany) kidnaps his family. Aimed as a crowd-pleaser, it certainly entertains. And in the fight scenes Ford is still excellent, demonstrating a believable physicality gained through his long years of whip-cracking, shoot em ups and fisticuffs in the Star Wars, Raiders and Jack Ryan series. But even the most tolerant will to wince at Ford’s over-emotive reactions. That said, it’s director Richard Loncraine (back with Bettany after their rom-com flop Wimbledon) who’s mostly to blame. Laughably delivered lines, join-the-dots direction and a closing scene that’s so twee you expect Julie Andrews to come bursting over the horizon to the Sound of Music. But Bettany’s brilliant and the showdown action scenes are genuinely gripping and gritty.
James Stewart was the actor par excellence for this genre – the ordinary joe forced to fight back. If only they’d had computers and firewalls in the fifties. These days, the underrated Kurt Russell might have got away with it as he did in Breakdown and Poseidon. But though Ford convinced as the family-threatened agent in Patriot Gamesand the president in Air Force One, Firewall proves what we always knew - that our Harrison needs to play the hero, not become one.