Director: Asger Leth
Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell
Release Date: February 3rd
Man on a Ledge opens with Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) checking into a fancy hotel under a false name, writing an apparent suicide note and then moving out onto the outside window ledge, where he threatens to jump. It is then revealed that he was serving a long-term prison sentence for an unknown crime. He escapes however, and sets a well-laid plan into motion to prove his innocence.
The main body of the film follows Nick’s relationship with negotiator Detective Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), a train-wreck of a cop with her heart in the right place, who attempts to talk him down off the ledge. She quickly realises that Cassidy isn’t suicidal, but will jump if he has to, and tries in earnest to work out exactly why he’s on the ledge in the first place.
This is by no means a film worthy of an Oscar nomination. The story is filled with more holes than a Curly Wurly and some of the action sequences are more than a little eyebrow-raising, yet the film does something many modern thrillers fail to do – it gives us a decent thrill. It can be argued that films such as Inception and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy have given the thriller genre a more cerebral reputation of late; gone are the days when Steven Segal could just shoot something and get on with kicking ass. Man on a Ledge brings the concept of the mindless action film back to contemporary cinema. It is also very well paced (never losing momentum once during the entire film), with the tension kept at a high level throughout, and is gloriously entertaining.
The part of the film that works best, however, is the dialogue between Nick’s brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and his girlfriend, Angie (Génesis Rodriguez). Both characters bring comic relief and the necessary eye-candy to the film, usually when together and in the middle of high-pressure situations. These two characters alone raise the entertainment value of the film enormously.
Twists, fantastic action set pieces, tales of corruption and even a surprising undercurrent of anti-capitalism; say hello to the return of the classic beat em’ up.
In a Nutshell: If you want entertainment that does what it’s supposed to do, minus any input from your brain, this is your film. Fun and refreshing.