Man on a Ledge
Running Time: 102 minutes
Starring: Sam Worthington, Kyra Sedgwick, Elizabeth Banks, Edward Burns, Ed Harris, Genesis Rodriguez, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie
Directed By: Asger Leth
Rating: 2.5 out of 10
A man is threatening to jump off a building. While in another part of the city, a huge diamond heist is taking place.
It’s a man on a ledge! (ß Sung like the Dick in a Box song.) Man on a Ledge is the story of Nick Cassidy. He is an ex con who finds himself on the ledge of a high rise building. He is threatening to jump unless his demands are met. As a police psychologist tries to talk him down, a huge diamond heist is taking place in another part of the city.
I am not sure what I was expecting with a movie called Man on a Ledge, but it was something better than this finished product. After an uneventful start where we are introduced to Nick Cassidy, we can fast forward to him heading out onto the ledge. He is a man clearly agitated with his lot in life, and is contemplating killing himself. As he hovers hundreds of feet off the ground, a crowd starts to form and begins egging him on to jump (only in New York, I guess?) With the proper authorities called, the film settles into an intriguing little story. Nick and a police psychologist, play the classic get to know you routine, and you wonder what Nick is up to. Meanwhile in the other part of the city, two thieves are attempting to steal a diamond worth tens of millions of dollars. The film, flip flops between the two story lines. One moment Nick is saying his farewells. The next moment, the two thieves are bypassing the security system on the building where the diamond is kept. The start to the film is light, it is easy to watch, and you will be intrigued on how everything relates to each other.
The acting in this is meh, and because the story is so predictable it is easy to see the performance flaws. Nick Cassidy is played by Sam Worthington, and everything I see this dude in makes me question why he is a star. He is always so average and this film is no different. The police psychologist is played by Elizabeth Banks, and she is average in this as well. She could have been better, but she is the world’s worst psychologist. Whatever protocols she is supposed to follow, she does the opposite. Worthington and Banks have an uneasy chemistry that will provide little emotional connection with the viewer. Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Genesis Rodriguez, and Anthony Mackie are all in this, but add nothing to make this film work. Lastly, Kyra Sedgwick plays an obnoxious TV reporter that I wanted to punch in the face.
Once you figure out what this film is all about, (and you will quickly) it falls apart hard. Nick is clearly stalling for some reason, but is allowed to play his little game. Meanwhile, the thieves face the most elaborate and sophisticated personal security system of all time. The building has elaborate cameras, thermal sensors, timed locks, and they irritatingly treat it like a kid’s game. They even make childish jokes as they bypass alarms and drill through walls. Not to mention the absurdness of the female thief played by Rodriguez, having to strip down to her underwear mid heist. There is plenty of nonsense to poke fun at in this. There are bomb explosions that go unnoticed, there are trigger happy police, and there is obvious backstabbing and treachery. Not to mention all sorts of crimes being committed that go unpunished by the law. In conclusion, this film is too stupid for words. It starts off well, and then the story becomes so over the top and ridiculous that it is hard to get into. Add the fact that every character in this is flawed, and this film had no chance of working. Sam Worthington, I wished you jumped 5 minutes in to this film so it could have saved me the time. On a side note, this film was way better ten years ago when it was called The Negotiator.
Director, Asger Leth, doesn’t know how to shoot a proper movie. This movie should be fast paced, and full of twist and turns. Instead we are presented with a film that has the dumbest characters on earth. Not one actor/actress in this film has any chemistry with each other. Couple that with a plan that is so unbelievable, that it makes this hard to sit through. I think someone dropped the script for this movie on the floor and then put the pages back in the wrong order. And that is how Leth shot this film. Why does a civilian have the most expensive security system of all time? Why does Nick have to be on the ledge? Why are the cops so stupid? Why is Ed Harris so generic in this? Why am I still writing?
I cannot recommend this movie as Chris Sabian himself couldn’t have talked me into liking it.
T Factor + If you like Sam Worthington as an actor, then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you need solid characters in your movies, then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: The Negotiator, Swat.