Firewall Richard Loncraine

If you must have a formulaic "daddy saves kidnapped family” film, this is a little bit better than most. But not by much. Harrison Ford plays the beleaguered patriarch in question, who after setting up a super-complicated computer system for his bank is beset upon by a British sociopath (Paul Bettany) to help crack the code and steal some cash. Yep, they steal his identity, wrap up the wife and kids, and force our man to steal $100 million with the help of… an iPod. If you don’t particularly mind the unlikelihood (or product placement) of that last development, you’ll probably have a swell time, as the film is totally unpretentious and at least moves quickly as it goes nowhere. Even Ford is less the tedious grouch he is in other movies, or at least here seems to have something worth feeling grumpy about. Alas, Bettany is unable to make anything out of his "action villain with foreign accent” character (not for lack of trying) and though it gets more out of some Canadian supporting actors than our own country ever will, it’s still a boring, bourgeois movie with an ultramodern house and Virginia Madsen in the wifey-wife role to which all pushing 40 actresses are doomed. Care has been taken to leach out any genuine traces of creativity — aside from the computer-piracy gimmick, which isn’t dwelled upon much, there’s nothing to distinguish this thing from scores of similar thrillers. The film keeps up with the Joneses instead of blazing its own trail, and while it’s largely painless, I can’t see a single reason to pay money to see it. Extras include an okay self-interview with Ford and director Richard Loncraine, and a short interview on process with writer Joe Forte. (Warner)