“Firewall” as a Form of Pop Culture

One of the negative aspects of pop culture, which makes it a convenient target for critics, is that it is supposedly superficial and shallow. The advent of mass production and the global media made it possible for the introduction of artifacts, which are not necessarily deemed important, but are popular because of their appeal or power to amaze. Take for instance the Panda. It is a prominent fixture in the pop culture as opposed to the parasitic worms, which have greater practical importance. It is in this context where the movie Firewall suffers in the eyes of its critics for, indeed, Firewall, is a film that is made to entertain or even shock, more than any cultural attempt of significance.


The film is a technological thriller set against the backdrop of modern Seattle banking industry. The protagonist, Jack Stanfield was a successful bank security specialist working for a certain Landrock Pacific Bank. He was responsible in setting up and maintaining a superb computer system and firewall to protect his employer’s funds from fraud. This enabled him to live a successful life together with his architect wife and two kids. As such, it was finally shattered when a group of thieves, led by the psychotic Bill Cox (Paul Bettany), held his family hostage in their own house to secure Stanfield’s cooperation in stealing millions of funds from the bank he was working on. The attempt included the dismantling of the firewall he had built.
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