I was at the launch of the Jameson Film Fest last night, so Ciaran bravely jumped in to review Man on a Ledge for me. What a ledge(nd).
Man on a Ledge has a fairly simple premise. Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), a former policeman, is pushed to the ledge of a Manhattan hotel in an attempt to clear his name after he was convicted of stealing a 40M$ diamond from David Englander (Ed Harris), a well established real estate investor. Nick demands to talk to officer Lydia Nercer (Elizabeth Banks), who was unsuccessful in her last negotiation with a suicidal cop, in order to form a large crowding the street below. This crowd acts as a distraction while Nicks brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), and Joey’s girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) break into one of David Eglander’s buildings, which is located across the road. The plan is to steal the diamond and prove Nick’s innocence.
The film flips back and forth between the negotiations on the ledge of the hotel and the break-in across the street. It seemed to me to be a great idea to bring together a Phone Booth-esque situation with a diamond heist but, unfortunately, it wasn’t executed as well as I expected it to be. I enjoyed the movie, but it definitely could have been more.
The break-in scenes involving Joey and Angie are humorous, acting as a sort of ‘what would happen if you gave an average person the necessary equipment to pull off a bank heist’- plot thread, so this side of the story works well and gives the film a quirky side.
The scenes involving Worthington and Banks, however, never really pulled me in. I don’t really know why either. It may have been that Worthington just didn’t work too well in the role. He works well when he can interact physically with other characters but he lacked in this position. It also could have been due to the movie trailer which, in my opinion, gave away too much. A large portion of the movie is spent setting Nick on the ledge and explaining why he’s there… But that was already explained to me in a 2 minute trailer, I didn’t need a long drawn out version! A shorter trailer which revealed less of the plot may have benefited this movie better. I also feel the film could have added a lot more interest by detailing how Nick was allegedly set up. The film shed some light on this but it could have been covered in a lot more detail!
On the other hand, the movie does offer some impressive high rise camera shots, giving the audience a slight vertigo-inducing effect. I can’t help but feel that it probably should have been used more often. Still, it can’t help but pale in comparison to the recent Burj Khalifa scene in Mission Impossible 4. Is it just bad timing for director Asger Leth?
I did like the film for the most part but there are quite a few scenes at the end of the movie which let it down for me, some that make me question the laws of physics and the competency of the police force.
Nonetheless, this film did what it said on the tin and it was a bit of fun.