Business rating: 0.5 / 5 stars (Half star)
Star cast: Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell, Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris.
What’s Good: A few moments in the drama.
What’s Bad:The dull, unnecessarily convoluted and convenient script; the uninspiring performances; the poor direction.
Verdict: Man On A Ledge has very little to offer in terms of entertainment; it’ll flop at the Indian box-office.
Loo break: Several.
Watch or Not?: Watch it at your own risk.
Summit Entertainment, Di Bonaventura Pictures and Tanweer Films’ Man On A Ledge is about a man who gets on the ledge of a high-rise in New York to prove his innocence in the theft case he is convicted for.
Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an ex-cop who has been convicted for theft of a diamond. He is accused for stealing from a rich real estate businessman, David Englander (Ed Harris), whom he was escorting when the alleged theft happened. Sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment, Nick is let out for a few hours to attend his father’s funeral. There, he gets into a fight with his younger brother, Joey (Jamie Bell). Nick manages to escape at gun point, leaving both, the prison guards and Joey, behind.
Next, he enters into a high-rise hotel under an alias, has supper there and climbs out on to the ledge of the hotel building. This attracts instant media and police attention. The whole area is cordoned off as crowds gather to see the drama. Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), a cop who is a psychological expert too, is called in.
As Lydia tries to talk Nick (whose real identity is not known to the police because the entry in the hotel register is that of another name) out of jumping, she realises that he has placed himself there not to commit suicide but to buy time for something that is about to happen. Once the cops learn of his identity, they are ready to forcibly take him down. Nick, on the other hand, pleads with Lydia to help him establish his innocence.
In the meantime, Nick’s brother, Joey, and his girlfriend are trying to break into a building bang opposite the hotel in an attempt to steal the diamond that Nick was supposed to have stolen in the first place. There are also two shady cops, Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie) and Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver). David Englander is, in the meanwhile, getting ready to address a press conference
Does Joey succeed in stealing the diamond? Is Nick able to get off the ledge safely and prove his innocence?
Man On A Ledge Review: Script Analysis
Pablo F. Fenjves’ story is too commonplace. We have seen several such films, including the recent Tower Heist, where people try and steal something by creating a distraction; the ‘man on a ledge’ being the distraction in this film. The story’s biggest fault is that the audience is aware of Nick’s real plans a few reels into the film and this kills all the intrigue and suspense. Had the writer not told the audience what was happening behind-the-scenes while the police dealt with Nick’s life-and-death situation, it would have made for a much engrossing drama. But for that, the scenes of interactions between Nick and the cops would have needed to be tension-filled, which is simply not the case. The writer also fails in utilising to the hilt Nick’s vertigo angle: a man is shown to be standing on a ledge on a high-rise, yet there are very few shots that effectively make the viewer aware of the dangers of being in that situation.
The writer fills the screenplay with unnecessary sub-plots, where he doesn’t even provide enough information to the audience. The action sequences in the latter half do not impress. Overall, apart from a few scenes in the initial few reels, the drama is mostly boring and doesn’t make much sense.
Man On A Ledge Review: Star Performances
Sam Worthington does not inspire confidence. Elizabeth Banks (Lydia Mercer) also fails to impress. Jamie Bell looks ill at ease in most scenes. Genesis Rodriguez (as Angie) pouts and makes for good eye candy. Ed Harris (as David Englander) is alright in a small role. Anthony Mackie is effective. Edward Burns (as detective Dougherty), Titus Welliver (as officer Marcus) and others offer average support.
Man On A Ledge Review: Direction & Technical Aspects
Director Asger Leth fails in presenting a cohesive narration of the thriller story. Henry Jackman’s background score is appropriate. Paul Cameron’s cinematography is functional. Production design, by Alec Hammond, could have been a lot better. Editing, by Kevin Stitt, is shoddy.
Man On A Ledge Review: The Last Word
On the whole, Man On A Ledge is a poor fare. It will flop at the Indian box-office.