Saturday, February 11, 2012

Man On A Ledge

Year: 2012
Director: Asger Leth
Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Genesis Rodriguez, Edward Burns, Anthony Mackie, Titus Welliver, Ed Harris, Kyra Sedgwick, William Sadler

Plot: An escaped convict steps out onto a ledge of a hotel 21 floors up. The act is merely a distraction so that a robbery can take place at an adjacent building, and not all is what it seems.

Review: The cast for this film is rather impressive. We have the dependable Sam Worthington, the talented Jamie Bell, the great Ed Harris and a handful of great supporting actors that you've seen somewhere before. However the end result is a tad below par.

Worthington plays Nick Cassidy, a cop who went to prison after being framed for a diamond heist. After he escapes from prison, he steps out of the window of a hotel 21 floors up, asking for a specific detective, Lydia Mercer, to see him. When she arrives, she quickly learns that he isn't up there to take his own life, and she has to trust him if she wants to know what's going on. Meanwhile, Nick's brother executes a robbery at a nearby building, which is all part of the plan. Then the proverbial shit hits the fan, and you know the rest. Or do you?

Director Asger Leth takes the reins of the kind of film that's meant to keep you guessing. However the execution isn't as smooth as it ought to be. We learn the details of the plot fairly quick, and basically Mercer is made to look rather weak as she tries to figure out what's going on. This situation is similar to The Negotiator, except that in that film, Kevin Spacey was on top of his game even when he didn't have all the facts. Here, Mercer pulls off a few smart moves as she progresses, but even then it's Cassidy that puts everything together in the end, and her role in this gets less and less crucial. The movie's climax also requires some suspension of disbelief, despite the fact that it's fast paced and thrilling. When it was over, the absence of logic was rather glaring.

Worthington is all right as Cassidy, but Elizabeth Banks is inconsistent as Mercer. I noticed that whenever she tries to look serious, her acting isn't convincing. Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez play Cassidy's brother and girlfriend, and they make a funny couple, providing some much needed humour as they execute the robbery. Edward Burns is also funny as Mercer's colleague, while Ed Harris plays the antagonist role well (I hated his hairdo though). Not to be left out are Kyra Sedgwick and William Sadler in minor roles, I do wish they had more screentime.

To be fair, the film is entertaining for the most part, and provides a good share of thrills and smart humour when required. However it needs some tighter direction especially at the end when things get a bit messy, and a bit more work on Banks' character would help too. In short: good but not great. (3/5)

1 comment:

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