Man on a Ledge (2012)

Man on a Ledge
Director: Asger Leth
Writer: Pablo F. Fenjves
Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Genesis Rodriguez, Kyra Sedgwick, Ed Harris, Ed Burns, William Sadler, Titus Welliver

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) has been sentenced to quite a few years in prison for stealing a 40 million dollar diamond from David Englander (Ed Harris). But during his father’s funeral, Nick manages to escape and appears again on the ledge of a hotel, trying to prove his innocence or throwing himself off. He requests negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) who, despite a recent misgiving, tries her best to talk him down. But Nick has a secret agenda: while the attention is focused on him, his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and his brother’s girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) try to break into Englander’s safe across the street from the hotel.

This movie was surprisingly not sucky. It is not a great film, but it is wonderfully entertaining.

The thing about Man on a Ledge is that it knows that it’s not great art, but doesn’t draw the conclusion that that means it doesn’t have to be a good film. So it concentrates on doing the things it does right – and succeeds mostly: the stunts are cool, the pacing is good and the supporting cast is excellent.

Especially Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez have a wonderful chemistry together. And I could have watched their Joey and Angie banter on forever. They are also the only characters who get a little more depth. But I also really enjoyed Kyra Sedgwick, Ed Harris, Ed Burns and Anthony Mackie.

Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t fare equally well with its two main actors. Elizabeth Banks is bland at best, but generally rather miscast. And Sam Worthington (after only recently convincing me in The Debt that not all hope is lost, that he might discovers real talent inside himself) is back to his usual talking-with-an-Australian-accent-despite-playing-American self. I mean, I completely have a thing for him – I just think he’s unbelievably likeable. And hot – for me, it’s quite okay, but everybody else will probably be a little bored by their storyline due to the shared blandness.

Nevertheless Man on a Ledge ends up being a decent film with some interesting points, if you want to overthink things a little – like Joey and Angie, like the way the crowd reacts to Nick – and a cast that is at least very nice to look at.

Summarising: Sure, why not.

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