A Movie On a Ledge
February 14, 2012 by Michael Harrison
What are the many reasons for a man to jump off a ledge?
With a fugitive threatening to take his life, crowds waiting anxiously outside a skyscraper, and a $40 million diamond heist going on, where did this movie go wrong?
Life is one of the most valuable things to us as human beings. Many squander theirs with theft and murder, but most people don’t. Why then, did someone completely innocent of theft end up in prison for 25 years? This is the predicament ex-cop Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington, Clash of The Titans) must overcome in the movie Man On A Ledge.
Prison is not a very fun trip for Cassidy. Fights are a common disturbance, he is notorious for supposedly stealing a $40 million diamond, and his old partner, Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie, Real Steel) has just informed him that his father is dead. Nick has seen better days, but this information gives him a way out of prison. Cassidy is allowed to attend his father’s funeral, and this is where he makes his escape to begin his on-the-edge adventure.
Standing on the ledge of the 25th story of a posh hotel is only the beginning of Cassidy’s master plan. While he is standing on this ledge, being talked down by the police negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks, Our Idiot Brother), the diamond he was accused of stealing is being stolen. Because he never actually stole the diamond, Cassidy believes its owner, David Englander (Ed Harris, That’s What I Am) framed him, and that he pretended it was stolen to get the $40 million settlement. His brother Joey Cassidy (Jamie Bell, The Adventures of Tintin) is conducting the heist with his girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez, Prisionera [a Mexican TV show]). Throughout the course of the movie, Nick is distracting people from this heist, and assisting his two allies through an earpiece.
The idea in this movie was well thought out, and interesting, but the execution is where it falls flat on its face. The acting was for the most part absolutely atrocious, and gave me no reason to care about the motivations of these characters. Bell and Rodriguez tried to offer comic relief, but this wasn’t necessary because there wasn’t much drama to relieve. Bank’s character had apparently failed in saving a jumper a few months before this situation, but it was as if she didn’t even care. When she and Nick were discussing what happened, she simply shrugged it off and avoided talking about it.
Worthington himself was pretty terrible, as well. By the end of the movie I didn’t really care if he jumped or not. Now the ledge aspect of the movie was pretty boring until the end, but what about the heist? If it’s this easy to steal some diamonds, I’ll go do it right now. The fact that they could attempt to provide comic relief while they were performing this heist shows how challenging it was.
The acting may have been bad for most of the movie, but the climax was quite a spectacle. It was thrilling and dramatic, and it was the only really good part of the movie. There were some points during this movie that I wanted it to end already, or I simply wanted to leave the movie.
The antagonist, Englander, was one of the best characters in the movie. He, unlike most of the characters, had clear intentions, and truly expressed them.
Man On A Ledge is definitely not the worst movie I’ve ever seen. It does have a pretty cool plot, with some interesting twists along the way. However, it can be very hard to overlook the awful acting. My favorite character was a hobo who supported Nick Cassidy’s cause, and he was in maybe one minute of the movie. The bottom line is, if someone has a couple hours to waste, a fat wallet, and nothing to do, they can go ahead and see it. If you don’t meet these requirements, save it for Redbox, or don’t bother seeing it at all. Man On A Ledge gets a two out of five.