Title: Man on a Ledge
Director: Asger Leth
Genre: Thriller, Action, Suspense.
Main Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Ed Harris.
Runtime: 102 mins.
IMDb rating: 6.6/10.
My rating: 7/10.
Quick summary: Nick Cassidy is a disgraced former cop and an escaped convict. He checks into a hotel under a fake name, eats a lavish meal, drinks some expensive champagne and steps out on to a ledge overlooking a busy Manhattan street, ready to jump. All eyes are on him. But what’s going on across the street??
Man on a Ledge gets straight into the action, while remaining a suspenseful slow burner. Within two minutes of the opening credits Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is out on the ledge! Afterwards, told through flashbacks and Detective Lydia Mercer’s (Elizabeth Banks) excellent detective work, the movie moves along at a steady pace, allowing for the two threads of the story to play out to a climactic finish!
This is an enjoyable flick. Worthington is always good in these roles, despite never nailing down the American accent in any film I have seen him in. To be fair, the only other film that I have seen him in in which he attempts a Yankee voice is Avatar (2009). He slips up once or twice in James Cameron’s futuristic epic, but he drops the ball majorly here. At the beginning I noticed the odd slip. I brushed it off, thinking that the vague similarity between a New York accent, especially from the boroughs, and an Australian one were mixing me up. However, as the movie went on, it just came out in droves. He would begin a sentence, speaking directly into Elizabeth Banks’ face, full New York construction worker, and by the end of it he’d turn into a full on bogan.
In fact, the accents and languages in this movie are hilariously mismanaged. Sam Worthington, as much as I like his performance in this, takes the throne as the worst at accents. Special mention must go to the bellhop/Cassidy’s Dad (William Sadler), who speaks with a hint of an Irish inflection in some scenes and then just a normal, run of the mill American one the next.
Also, in a fantastically stereotypical moment, Bobby Cassidy’s (Jamie Bell) latin girlfriend, Angela Maria Lopez (that’s the characters actual name. I was surprised it wasn’t Carmen or Juanita) begins to curse in Spanish at any cop who gets in her way. Oh, there’s plenty of mierdas and puta tu madres and what have yous!
I really enjoyed Elizabeth Banks as the troubled Detective Mercer. She is requested especially by Cassidy as he stands atop the ledge, seemingly ready to jump. She is still recovering from losing a rookie police officer to suicide in a failed negotiation one month previously. Banks plays the character well, shares a good rapport with Worthington and is a strong female lead. There is one scene where she made me laugh for the wrong reasons. Mercer, after spending an hour or so trying to talk Cassidy in off the ledge, begins to believe him about his innocence. Instead of letting him be taken by S.W.A.T. tactical team she joins him on the ledge.
“What are you going to do?” she asks him breathlessly.
“I’m going to steal the diamond…for the first time,” he replies, undressing her with his eyes.
“I’m going to have so much sex with you,” she shouts, launching herself into his arms and over the ledge, into a lover’s fatal embrace.
That last line obviously didn’t happen, but her eyes told the tale.
All in all, I would recommend this movie for a Friday evening. There’s just enough going on throughout that it will keep the most avid phone-scroller entertained. There’s plenty of Adidas advertising to point out to each other and there’s enough action to counteract the dialogue. There are some great comedic scenes too, especially with the ultra New York spectators that gather round to possibly, and maybe hopefully, see a man fall to his death. They are the ordinary people on their way to work, fed up with life and the class divide that permeates the city. They’re on Cassidy’s side and will support him all the way, as the viewer sees with great hilarity towards the end.
This is available to watch on Netflix and all good pirating sites! You won’t be disappointed.
All photos courtesy of Myles Aronowitz, © 2011 Summit Entertainment.