“MAN ON A LEDGE” (Sam Worthington & Elizabeth Banks)
I liked this movie. I think the reason I liked it was due to the fact that it was a ‘crime caper’ without any car chase scenes & a minimal amount of weapons fired (Until the final scenes)
Was it far fetched? Sure, what crime caper movie isn’t? Did it get a little mundane with the ‘phew, that was a close call’ moments – Of course it did. But I liked the fact that the bulk of the movie concerned Sam Worthington’s Nick Cassady standing on the ledge outside of the hotel room he checked into as Joe Walker and his conversations with detective Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) as she tried to talk him off the ledge and he used her to stall for time while his accomplices robbed a safe in a building across the street.
Nick is an ex-cop who claims he was set up by billionaire David Englander (Ed Harris) by making Nick the fall guy for the theft of the Monarch Diamond. Nick’s defense was that Englander stole his own jewel but no one on the jury saw any sense in that. Harris, who normally plays a terrific bad guy seemed rather bland to me in this role – he actually showed more life playing bland John McCain than he did as a despicable billionaire.
When Nick’s father dies he is allowed, under armed guards to attend the funeral. During a heated skirmish with his younger brother, Nick escapes and sets his ‘man on a ledge’ diversion into action.
Ed Burns, one of the purveyors of bland acting to the point where he might as well use the same name for every character he plays since they all seem to act alike, is Jack Dougherty – the detective that is first called to the scene. Nick tells Jack the only person he’ll talk to is Lydia Mercer. Mercer, infamous for not talking down a depressed cop enters the film by crawling out of bed to answer the phone. It is one of the hottest non-nude scenes I’ve seen in a long time as Elizabeth looks smokin’ hot in just a wife-beater tee shirt and shorts.
Anthony Mackie plays Nick’s ex-partner Mike Ackerman and his uneasy facial expressions tell you that he’s hiding something, but yet he seems to care about what happens to Nick.
Add Kyra Sedwick as a bothersome news reporter and “Man on a Ledge” has a nice, easy to follow group of characters – It doesn’t get bogged down with too many exponential characters that only exist to complicate matters for the viewer.
Still, calling this plot ‘simple’ would be a misnomer; what goes on in the building across the street is where all of the ‘phew, that was close!’ scenes occur.
I wouldn’t discount anyone for disliking this film because of how easily Nick’s accomplices get inside a heavily guarded building and blow things up inside it without being detected. Plus, there’s only two people carrying out this elaborate scheme which makes it all the more unbelievable.
The surprise twist of revealing a supporting character’s true identity at the end wasn’t way off the wall like most surprise twists – this one made me smirk instead of roll my eyes... So there were some clever moments and some dopey moments, but over-all I liked the film because of the interplay between Worthington and Banks.