9 may. 2012

My Review: Man on a Ledge (6/10)

¨Today is the day when everything changes. One way or another. ¨

Man on a Ledge is the latest thriller starring Sam Worthington who has made a name for himself in several blockbuster action films like Terminator Salvation, Avatar, and Wrath of the Titans. These films have been box office hits, but he still hasn`t managed to make it among the A-list actors in my opinion. This was a lower budget film and it had its flaws, but it was still an interesting and entertaining thriller. Sam actually chose this role because he liked the script and wanted to face his fear of heights since most of the film takes place on the ledge of a 200 foot building. This is Asger Leth`s first feature film, since he previously had only directed a documentary, and Pablo Fenjves wrote this original script which is actually his first screenplay as well since his previous work had been for television movies. I was surprised these guys got so many talented actors on board for this film, but I guess Sam`s presence helped. The script is interesting and it has some good thrills, but there are several plot holes in the heist that takes place, and many elements seemed borrowed from other famous thrillers we`ve seen before. Man on a Ledge lacks some originality, but the film still manages to entertain for most part. There is an interesting secondary cast and Worthington does a decent job as the lead although he doesn’t have much space to work with. Be warned this film could give you some goose bumps if you`re afraid of heights.

The film opens with a man renting a Hotel room under a fake name and then writing a suicide note before he opens the window and climbs to the ledge of the 200 foot building in Manhattan. Someone spots him from the street and calls the police. Soon the police arrive, and so do the firefighters and SWAT team. There is a flashback where we see the same man in prison. His real name is Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) and he is talking to one of his visitors, his ex partner in the police force, Mike (Anthony Mackie) who is telling him that the case seems lost and he will have to spend 25 more years in prison. Nick claims to be innocent and escapes from prison when he is allowed to attend his father`s funeral. He has a discussion with his younger brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and when the police officers are distracted he escapes. This is what takes us to the present event, but now Nick is on the ledge of the building and asks for a high profile negotiator named Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks). As the movie goes on we begin to discover new things about Nick and his case. There is more to the simple suicide attempt than meets the eye; Nick is really trying to clear his name and prove his innocence while a heist is going on across another building.

Genesis Rodriguez, Edward Burns, Kyra Sedgwick, and Ed Harris are also among the talented cast. Rodriguez and Bell sort of have the funnier and lighter dialogues although I didn’t think it worked out really well. The film works thanks to a good performance from Worthington who always has you feeling like if you were on the ledge with him. Banks is also good in her role, while the rest of the cast really have no screen time. The heist scene is very interesting at first, but it begins to have too many plot holes and too many things have to go their way in order for it to really work. It wasn`t very believable, but it still was entertaining and had me at the edge of my seat at times. I really didn’t like how the end of the movie played out, but I can`t judge the film entirely based on the ending. I have to admit I had a good time during most of the movie so I can`t say this was a bad movie. If you are into thrillers then you will probably like this film. Man on a Ledge isn’t memorable or original, but it entertains and has some strong moments.

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