CAN THE DECLINE OF HARRISON FORD’S CAREER GET ANY MORE DEPRESSING?
Michael Atkinson on Firewall: “The post-Die Hard genre is on its last legs, and the movie is as tired in its bones as [Harrison] Ford, who at 63 has crossed the line from robust, no-nonsense manliness to doughy-creepy grumpster.” (Thanks, GreenCine daily)
And here’s Peter T. Chattaway’s review:
It is significant that Ford’s first movie in years is not one of those serious dramas or offbeat comedies that he used to make whenever he wanted to prove that there was more to him than stunts and action sequences. Instead, Firewall is a back-to-the-basics thriller that echoes several of Ford’s better-known films, such as Patriot Games and Air Force One. Once again, bad guys threaten his wife and children, and he does all the growling and punching that it takes to keep his family safe. The climactic fight scenes, which feature imperiled children and take place in an isolated locale, are reminiscent of Witness; and there are even elements of The Fugitive. But by bringing those other films to mind, Firewall underscores its own weaknesses; it simply lacks the firepower, the iconic status, the cultural subtext and the engaging supporting actors that made Ford’s other suspense flicks so much fun.
Personally, I find it hard to believe that Ford’s choices have become so consistently lame that I actually flinch when I see his name attached to a project. The Firewall trailer is a painful example of inadvertent comedy. The guy used to be my big-screen hero, my favorite movie personality. Now, if he’s headlining a film, you can almost guarantee it’ll be formulaic, implausible, and full of lines like “You stay away from my family!” To further complicate matters, he keeps playing guys with young children while he increasingly resembles somebody’s great granddaddy.
And apparently, as this recent interview shows, he’s not interested in doing much else
Until then, I continue to hope that that new Indiana Jones project will collapse. Better to rejuvenate the series with a qualified actor–I nominate Nathan Fillion (Serenity)–than to turn in an indulgent-but-disappointing nostalgia trip.
Who would you nominate to play the next Indiana Jones? Josh Holloway (Lost‘s Sawyer)? Matthew Fox (Lost‘s Jack)? Joaquin Phoenix (to follow in his brother’s footsteps)?
SPEAKING OF FIREWALL…
Peter Chattway adds:
Christian audience members might take note, however, of the fact that one of the key minor characters, a young co-worker of Jack’s named Bobby (Matthew Currie Holmes), is a born-again Christian who flirts amiably with Jack’s secretary (Mary Lynn Rajskub), plays guitar in a worship band and has “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” as a ring-tone on his cell phone. He’s a caricature, perhaps, but a friendly one; and between this and the “Jesus rocks!” neighbors from Mr. and Mrs. Smith, it would seem that evangelical Christians are on their way to becoming the quirky sidekicks that gay characters have been for years.
SPEAKING OF SLUMPS…
Can Terry “Quixote” Gilliam get back in the saddle?