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Film / Firewall

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Paul Bettany and Harrison Ford in that film you didn't know they were both in.

Firewall is a 2006 American-Australian thriller film directed by Richard Loncraine and written by Joe Forte. The film stars Harrison Ford as a banker who is forced by criminals, led by Paul Bettany, to help them steal $100 million.


Tropes:

  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • While he's not exactly likable, Willy being Cox's Butt-Monkey until he's killed by him—with Cox not even bothering to find a better reason beyond Willy's "too many mistakes"—makes him pitiful enough to maybe feel a little sorry for.
    • Vel is a straightforward example on the other hand. He hoped and believed that Cox legit meant it when he said he'd let everyone go, never harmed anyone beyond just helping to restrain them at times and is also outright killed when he tries to save the family from Cox too.
  • And This Is for...: Jack deletes one of the last bits of Cox's money for Harry's death.
  • Asshole Victim: Bill Cox and his henchmen (except for Vel). Considering Bill Cox was a loathsome con-artist who kidnapped and held the family of wealthy banker Jack Stanfield hostages, and forced Jack to give in to his demands. He manipulate, antagonized and forced Jack Stanfield into electronically transferring ten thousand dollars from the ten thousand largest depositors at the bank he works to Cox's own offshore accounts and wanted to commit the perfect crime by erasing every single trace of his crimes by killing Jack and his family and framing him for the robbery and the murder, and that many of Bill Cox's henchmen (except for Vel) were loathsome as well, they will not be missed by anybody at all, for they deserved nothing but death.
  • Bad Boss: Cox of course. Kills two of his men while insulting most of them and it's pretty clear that they all are expendable to him once the Stanfields are disposed of and he got the money.
  • Bank Robbery: With Harrison Ford, involves a bank robbery via electronic balance transfers.
  • Buy Them Off: Jack offers Willy five million dollars to help him and his family escape. Willy refuses, either out of greed or fear of his boss.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: The police show up practically the second after Jack killed the last bad guy.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In one of the first scenes, we see the sister yelling at the brother because his radio-controlled car causes interference with the television. Guess what Harrison Ford uses later to disrupt the villain's security system?
    • The necessity of Rusty the dog's collar is mentioned briefly and it's how Jack and Janet are able to track the family: Rusty is with them and his collar has a LoJack designed to help find him wherever he goes.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: The hero is kidnapped when the villain gets in the back of his car.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Harrison Ford playing the same kind of character in Air Force One with Mary Lynn Rajskub playing the same type of helpful hacking heroine as her character Chloe O'Brien on 24. Together, they team up to save Harrison's family from a gang of thieves, thus making it feel what the end result would be if you combined Die Hard with Desperate Hours, Ransom (1996) and Swordfish.
  • The Dragon: Liam to Cox. He appears to be the one in charge of the other thieves when Cox is absent.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: Jack is at odds of what to do to save his family in the third act, but he remembers that he had recently paid for a tracker chip for the family dog's collar, who was constantly running off. One log-in on Janet's laptop later, he knows where Cox is.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Vel, one of Cox's thugs, eventually sympathizes with Jack's family and never intended any actual moral harm would befall them.
  • False Reassurance: This seems to completely define Bill's personality as being a conman to achieve his desires. Every single promise he makes is nothing but bullshit so he can succeed.
  • Hate Sink: There is nothing to like about psychopathic Big Bad Bill Cox, he deserved to be defeated and killed by Jack Stanfield for all of his crimes. And besides Cox himself, two of his four men are pretty terrible themselves:
    • Pim is the most ill-tempered of Cox's men. Aside from almost constantly screaming and yelling at Beth Stanfield and the kids, he grabs Andy and holds him down on the ground, grabs Sarah by her throat to threaten her and when Andy nearly suffocates from the tape around his mouth, he is willing to let him continue to struggle to breath. Pim is easily the most despicable and irritating of Cox's men without question.
    • Liam is probably the coldest of Cox's men. Aside from nearly breaking Andy's arm on Cox's behalf, Liam has no trouble threatening Vel at gun point when Vel is shocked by Cox killing Willy; he at times hits Jack for either lying about his gun or causing problems for them; flat out tells Sarah: "I just don't care about you" when she ask why he is so hateful toward them and then threatens Beth at gun point in order to help sell Cox's lie about her and Harry Romano. Liam is then unceremoniously the first after Willy to be killed by Jack not long after.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Vel is killed by Cox when he steps in to try to stop him from further hurting Sarah or any of the others.
  • I Have Your Wife: Cox and his men take Jack Stanfield's family hostage in their own home as a means of forcing Jack to help rob the bank that he works at.
  • MacGyvering: Jack improvises a device with a printer's scanner and an iPod at one point as part of the plan to get the bank accounts (by taping it to a screen and asking someone at records to please run the bank's account list at fast speed as a security check).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Vel more and more is very uneasy and conflicted about the whole plan—especially when he probably realizes that Cox intends to kill the whole family once they're done.
  • Nothing Personal: Liam gives Sarah a pretty poor one.
    Sarah: Why do you hate us so much?
    Liam: I don't hate you Sarah. I just don't care about you.
  • The Perfect Crime: Cox planned on doing this from the very beginning. It involves killing the Stanfields regardless of his help, framing Jack for embezzlement and wrecking the bank's system, and even goes so far as to framing him for murdering Harry, his co-worker buddy and "partner" in the robbery in a jealous rage over Beth as Cox had Beth plant a false message saying that she was leaving him.
  • Product Placement: As so many reviews were keen to point out, this film really goes out of it's way to show how cool computer technology looked like in the 2000s, even though the main story really has nothing to do with how computers works. There are close-ups of brand names and PC screens to the point where it seems funny.
  • Sheep in Sheep's Clothing: Harry is introduced as a knowledgeable and helpful coworker of Jack. Then he's seen taking a call from Cox, the head hostage-taker, and talks about how a deal they have is working out and refers to Jack's role in it. Later, it's revealed that they were talking about a (nonexistent) job offer Cox made Jack for a legitimate business and that Harry is an Unwitting Pawn.
  • Sidekick: Jack's secretary Janet ends up helping him try to clear his name and rescue his family in the second half of the movie.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Cox loses his cool the moment Jack removed all of the money he robbed from his accounts.
    Cox: Your family are dead. You hear me, they are DEAD!
    • Pim already was extremely volatile even before the climax, but by that point, he's letting Andy nearly suffocate from the tape over his mouth and then fires his gun wildly at Jack in Janet's car—while screaming and not trying to get out of the way.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Bill Cox tricks Jack's son Andy (who has a peanut allergy) into eating a cookie with peanuts and ruthlessly withholds his EpiPen to further force Jack's cooperation.
    • Liam is willing to break Andy's arm on Cox's orders and Pim aside from grabbing and threatening Sarah by the throat—and with his gun—also carelessly and maliciously leaves Andy to nearly suffocate with tape over his mouth.
  • Wrongful Accusation Insurance: While not out to clear his name, Harrison Ford's character, in the course of trying to save his kidnapped family: breaks into an apartment and arrives at a murder scene, gets his hands on the murder weapon, clearly leaving prints, takes a bank teller hostage at gunpoint, breaks into his ex-secretary's apartment and apparently forces her to help him after firing her earlier, and then hacks into the bad guys' account to erase their money.
  • You Have Failed Me: Bill Cox kill one of his own men, telling him: "We all make mistakes, Willy. Just not as many as you do. "
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Bill Cox uses a "too many mistakes" excuse to kill one of his own men. It's very likely he would've done the same to his other cohorts as well if it meant he got all the money for himself.
  • You Said You Would Let Them Go: It's pretty obvious and predictable from the viewer that Cox wasn't going to let them go from the beginning when he said he would, because he's trying to commit The Perfect Crime.

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