Man on a Ledge

Release Date: January 27, 2012
Director: Asger Leth
Writer: Pablo F. Fenjves
Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell

Man on a Ledge is about an ex-cop standing on a ledge preparing to jump to his death and an emotionally stirred police psychologist that attempts to talk him down. As they talk, it becomes clear that the ex-cop’s intentions transcend a simple suicide and that something more dangerous may be afoot. It sounds absolutely titillating doesn’t it?

Well, I have good news and bad news. The good news is that if you’re looking for the only man on the face of the Earth that can use three accents in a six to 10 word sentence, you’ve come to the right place. Sam Worthington is your man, folks! The bad news follows in the form of the rest of this review.

I wish I was kidding there. See, I spent a lot of this movie staring at the screen with a dumbfounded look on my face and there are a few reasons why. First of all, it’s an incredibly improbable film but I’m not truly holding this against the film itself because I think we all sign on for a certain degree of suspension of disbelief when we sit in those velvety chairs and consume popcorn covered butter. However, the improbability became a problem when I realized how seriously this film was taking itself.

Man on a Ledge is one of those movies where you sit with a friend and talk through the whole thing. You talk about what is going to happen next and you talk about why the thing that just happened shouldn’t have happened. You also laugh about how not funny the jokes are and all of this is okay because the dialogue is a shell of what might be remnants of a script. Throughout the film, characters lie. It’s a film about a chain of cover-ups. The problem is, the acting seemed to constantly intimate the cover-ups so it was a painfully obnoxious dance from one bad line to the next. It’s as though the people behind the camera didn’t trust you to catch on. Which leads me to my next point.

Everything was horrifically predictable. This genre of film, I would say the genre that involves some sort of noble good guy (spy/cop) being screwed over and coming back for epic redemption, already suffers from severe repetitiveness. Although it really seemed like the director wanted to bring something new to the table, it fell back on itself in a sad way.

I really want to say that someone’s acting saved the whole thing but I couldn’t get over how obnoxiously ‘Hollywood-New York’ it was. Maybe I’m biased because I live in Manhattan but it’s like they picked ten of our most notable crazies and turned them into main characters. The gum-chomping officer and partially bald, obnoxiously rich man trying to please his father late in his life by doing inhumane things that end up catching up to him — BORING. Oh, and the tough lady cop stereotype which has been done like nobody’s business. Still, the token Latina, Angie (Genesis Rodriguez), was pretty amusing until they really started abusing her status as the competent but sassy comic relief.

At the end, I laughed. The characters end up creating such a large mess that I embraced the fact that there’d be major gaps in logic and that some things may remain unresolved, but I included the plot in this conclusion. I ended up laughing because somehow things made sense when they had a foundation that did not permit such cohesion.

I’ve already decided that when I show this to my friends, I’m going to have them watch the trailer and the end of the movie, and then have them tell me what happens from there because they’re either going to get it right or get it totally wrong and still end up being right because that’s just how it happens. Trust me.

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

by Ashley Washington

4 Responses

  1. oh dear….sam worthington is notorious for checking out midway through a performance. and multiple accents?? the worst!

  2. Rodrigo says:

    I saw the trailer for this yesterday when I saw Ghost Protocol yesterday. Does Man on a Ledge works like Phone Booth?

    • @Rodrigo, I was thinking the same thing when I saw the trailer but a lot of the action in Man on a Ledge takes place inside the building he’s standing on and in a few other places as well. I feel like it could have benefited from the difficulty of capturing the story from the ledge alone. It would’ve challenged the writing.

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