102 Min | Action – Crime – Thriller | February 2012
IMDB Rating: 6.6
Director: Asger Leth
Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell
Man on a Ledge Review: “Man on a Ledge” is a Swiss-cheese plotted heist and “prove his innocence” movie but taken as just that, it’s quite an enjoyable movie. However, what the movie does excellently is setup the plot and build up the situation perfectly. Just starting as a literal man on a ledge, we see subtle layers added until we get this full on crescendo of diamond heists, negotiators, cops, convicts, bad guys, good guys all happening on in a single block in New York. So, given that you’re willing to suppress your tingling plot-hole sense, it can be an enjoyable movie. The cast is quite good and the acting and tension is par for the course. The leads Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks do a great job. Seeing Worthington as an ex-NY cop, ex-convict and Banks as a negotiator/psychologist with a past is surprising on paper but they manage to pull it off very well.
However, Jamie Bell is one of the heist-team but his opposite who plays Angie make for some cringe-worthy comedy, like some Sofia Vergara slapstick in the middle of a tense situation. Ed Harris looks emaciated but equally sinister as the villain and there are a host other minor NY characters. The Hollywood pitch for Man on a Ledge in my head, “it’s like The Negotiator combined with The Italian Job but happens in NY and instead of a hostage situation we have a jumper.” And, essentially it’s just that – a movie that heavily recalls other movies from the past except perhaps for the man on ledge. On a side note, it seems that every NY movie nowadays has a reference to the OWS movement and what a typical OWS protester might look like.
Man on a Ledge is at its best when it clamors for our hero who desperate and is fighting all odds to clear his name as he shouts from his ledge, “I am innocent and this is my retrial.” The movie is at its worst when it’s ungainly roping in all the plot threads it cast out but can’t seem to put it together. Overall, Man on a Ledge is a good enough movie for people who like these kinds of movies. If you’ve caught yourself bitterly berating the many plot holes in heist movies, maybe this isn’t for you.