Man on a Ledge Review

By Darrin Jones / January 27

Ingredients: If you liked the mediocrity of Ocean’s Twelve, the under use of strong characters of Hostage, and the plot of The Negotiator, you will like this movie.

Man on a Ledge is a harder movie to review then I thought it would be. The trailers paint it as a suspenseful thriller that was sure to keep people on the edge of their seats guessing; something similar to Inside Man. But it fell short of that high mark well under halfway through the movie. The film opens with Nick Cassidy (as played by Sam Worthington) entering a nice hotel room and enjoying a meal but the real treat for me was seeing William Sadler as the hotel valet showing him to his room. I was worried that they would have wasted Sadler’s talent but, fortunately, his character is brought back in throughout the film. Nick Cassidy, as it turns out, is an ex-cop and present prison escapee. While using his one ‘get out of jail free card’ to attend his father’s funeral, Nick escapes the guards and disappears into the city -- apparently jailbreaks are easier then Prison Break would lead us to believe. After finishing his high-class meal, Nick decides to take a nice stroll right out of his room window and out onto the ledge of the hotel he’s staying at making him some sort of man on a ledge of some kind. 

Nick makes such a big spectacle of his suicidal efforts that all the city gets into an uproar. The police are called in and Nick requests recently disgraced negotiator, Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), to talk him down. Through the course of the movie, we learn about why Nick was imprisoned and that he is, in fact, doing all this to prove his innocence. It turns out that while Nick is creating a citywide spectacle, his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) are in the process of a heist to steal the evidence needed to free Nick and expose David Englander (Ed Harris) as the bad guy he so is. It’s when Nick and Lydia are discussing Nick’s predicament and what they can do about it that the movie is quite good. The characters have a good rapport with each other and the most suspenseful moments come from Nick dangling precariously on the narrow ledge. The crowd below cheer on his near death slip-ups and attention grabbing antics, the cops plan ways of ending his tirade in public, and Nick and Lydia are trapped in the middle of it all. 

Where the movie falls apart completely is with Joey and Angie. Anyone familiar with Casey Affleck and Scott Caan’s characters in Ocean’s Eleven will know what I mean when I say their zany antics really take me out of the movie, especially when they are in the middle of a robbery! It is sort of adorable how they depict the two committing their first robbery as being well rehearsed but ill skilled at it. And there’s no shortage of cliched ‘heist’ lines such as “cut the red wire” and rushing to hide from an unexpected guard patrol. Ed Harris’ character was severally underdeveloped. He never got beyond the simple portrayal of ‘I’m just a bad guy.’ The crime that David accuses Nick of is on the ridiculous side and how it’s all resolved felt slapped together. In all, the movie wasn’t anything new and was hardly a good representation of anything old. One more thing, the movie does go on a few minutes to long and has this really sappy ‘they lived happily ever after’ ending that was completely unnecessary. 

No comments:

Post a Comment