>> Man On A Ledge (2012)

Title: Man On A Ledge

Genre: Suspense

Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris, Edward Burns, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Genesis Rodriguez

Director: Asger Leth

Studio: Summit Entertainment

Runtime: 102 min

In Theatres: January 27, 2012

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Rating: 1.98 (out of 4.00)

Grade: C


Elizabeth Banks plays a detective trying to help a wrongfully accused man. In Next Three Days, Banks plays a woman wrongfully accused by the law.

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is a man ready to die. It's important you know that. After escaping from Sing Sing Prison on a major robbery scandal, Nick has found himself with little to live for. His family is torn apart, with his father passing away and his brother , Joey (Jamie Bell), constantly asking for a hand out. And worst of all, Nick's name is destroyed after he stole a $40 Million diamond from wealthy businessman, David Englander (Ed Harris). But, there's a catch. What if Nick never took the diamond? What if he was set up all along? Innocent or not, Nick has a pretty big situation on his hands, seeing as he's standing on the only ledge of the 21st floor of The Roosevelt Hotel. With Detective Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), an officer with a damaged track record, being the only person willing to give him a chance, Nick must clear his name before the pavement clears his existence. 

Man On A Ledge is a bit of a tornado, sans Bill Paxton (Pullman?): There's plenty of objects flying around that, at their original area of belonging, are enjoyable, but don't seem to belong when mixed together by a large gust of redemption-fueled wind. Man On A Ledge is that wind. The centered storyline of Nick Cassidy and his journey to freedom is original enough and will reel in audiences as his story furthers. But surrounding that ledge is a plotline taken from various different genres and slammed into one feature film. Nick holds his story as the main source of drama, while Joey and his girlfriend, Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) attempt to infiltrate Englander's building, proving to fulfill the thrills for the audience. Meanwhile, right inside Nick's hotel room, Detective Mercer and her fellow officer, Jack Dougherty (who seems to only speak sarcastically), give enough cop lingo and heated exchanges to fill the quota of a CSI: Miami script. All of these genres would mix well together if they each had the appropriate chance to do so. However, they don't and it's mostly because of the overall cute and cheeky tone happening on the street level. White reporters with hispanic last names/accents, lovable homeless (i'm assuming) men and the always memorable snappy 80 year old woman who won't stand for a second of this nonsense are the general population of Manhattan, according to Director Asger Leth. Every scene involving the street level is for humor and makes little sense as to where in the story it really belongs. The connection between Joey and Angie is enough humor to keep the movie even with levity. There is no reason to fill this story with such miniscule characters and their absurd personal traits. For this, Man On A Ledge just seems lazy.

Aside from uneven, re-occuring tones, Man On A Ledge has some fairly enjoyable moments. The majority of these moments are belonging to Ed Harris soaking up the chance to be a wealthy villain, Jamie Bell owning the role of a genius kid with attitude and Anthony Mackie who breathes life into the role of good friend with a secret. Hidden beneath the surface, there are moments that could easily highlight a film if the focus were a little different. Unfortunately, these three gentlemen were the limit of acting in Man On A Ledge.

I'm looking at you, Sam Worthington. 

Mr. Worthington isn't an awful actor by any means. But with the exception of Avatar, Worthington hasn't really shown his acting abilities yet. With a catalog highlighted by Clash of The Titans and Terminator: Salvation, it's easy to see what kind of movies he is drawn to: Movies that don't require a lot of acting, as long as the action stays hot and the glares are at an all time high. Then again, I haven't seen The Debt yet, so I'll hold on to hope. Worthington isn't alone, though. Elizabeth Banks wasn't destined for roles like that of Detective Mercer. She tends to be a little flat and can't seem to hold on to her emotions for a role where she is required to extract information from the fellow characters. Edward Burns seems like he was told to imagine one of the Mean Girls as a cop. Without expression, Burns will make the most unhelpful, sarcastic comments without an explanation as to why. It's these flaws in the characters/actors that distract the audience from truly getting wrapped in what otherwise is an inventive and suspenseful story. 

Man On A Ledge is a movie destined to be a TV movie broadcast on TNT, thanks in part to stale acting and uneven tones. With a little more work, Man On A Ledge could have easily been a wonderful remedy of the typical January releases. Until then, much like the possibility of Nick Cassidy's fate, Man On A Ledge falls flat. 


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