Man on a Ledge (2012)

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is a wrongfully convicted man, having been charged with the supposed theft of a $40 million diamond from shady businessman David Englander (Ed Harris). Escaping custody during his father’s funeral service, Nick goes on the run to New York where he plans to steal the diamond (for real this time), and in the process expose Englander’s fraud and his own innocence. Taking to a 21st floor ledge on the façade of the city’s Roosevelt Hotel, Nick draws attention to himself – and negotiating officer Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) – under the guise of a suicide jumper, while his brother (Jamie Bell) and his brother’s girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) break into Englander’s stronghold just across the street.

Calling this film “Man on a Ledge” is like calling Inception “Men go to Sleep“, not only does it get the focus of the movie completely wrong, but it inadvertently spotlights the film’s least interesting element. In pointing a camera at Sam Worthington, far out of reach of his trusty Avatar, the creatures of Wrath of the Titans or even a half-decent explosion, director Asger Leth has merely provided the strongest evidence yet that Worthington is one of the least commanding screen presences fronting blockbusters today.

Good thing, then, that just across the street there is a story almost worth witnessing. While Bell and Rodriguez might not be out to win any awards, their characters at least have some chemistry, pulling the audience into an audacious heist plot that sees the former do a little dance and the latter strip to her underwear. Elizabeth Banks, meanwhile, very nearly convinces as a suicide negotiator in desperate need of a successful operation. While she may bring little of note to the role – there is no trace of the personality she oozes in Slither and Spider-man – it is a passable performance that at least gives you someone to route for.

That is, however, until the film face-plants into its final act, ramping up the ridiculousness as we embark on the requisite twists and turns with none of the tension or imagination needed to sell the revelations or make the required impact. While we all know full well how the film is likely to end, there is no predicting the idiocy with which the endgame will be reached. There comes a point at which Worthington is required to do more than just stand still and occasionally touch his ear, and from this moment on the game is up.

A by-the-numbers thriller in the Phone Booth vein, Man on a Ledge is as static and uninvolving as it sounds. With an ever so slightly better movie taking place just over the street, it really is a shame that we have to spend so much time waiting for Banks’ afflicted officer to get a fingerprint and wrap up her negotiations.

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Man on a Ledge (2012)

  1. Pingback: February 2012 – Wow, that was such an expensive looking explosion! « popcornaddict

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