Man on a Ledge
While initially appearing to be a conventional thriller, Man on Ledge develops into something of a much higher concept as it moves along. Somewhat unfairly slated by American critics, Sam Worthington does a stellar job anchoring this old school thriller that while not as smart as it thinks it is, is still a fun ride while it lasts. Worthington is Nick Cassidy, a wrongly convicted former cop who escapes from prison in an attempt to clear his name. Soon after escaping he has seemingly his last meal and climbs out onto the ledge of a high rise New York hotel and threatens to jump. While the cops struggle to make sense of him or talk him down, he insists on speaking only to Elizabeth Banks' Detective Lydia Mercer, who recently a very tough day on the job when a jumper went splat - despite her best efforts.
There are obviously a slew of influences at work here, but none is more evident than The Inside Man. Spike Lee's heist movie is slicker than a recently waxed car bonet, and had the smarts to back it up. 'Ledge' is singing from a similar hymn sheet, but stylistically is far more restrained and chooses instead to push the relationships developing within it ahead of aesthetics or action sequences. By no means has a bad thing, the plot comes together nicely enough and the pacing is fairly sharpish through-out.
Worthington has an obviously very difficult role, and when his characters intentions are clouded in ambiguity he really shines. Later when he's listening into an earpiece on the ledge, it loses something, and his work becomes a little more functional. Hardly his fault, or that of Banks - a very fine actress who has a one note character but does what she can with her. Bell and Rodriguez have an effortless chemistry, and their scenes are a lot of fun.
The ending is a little too laser neat, and the final third drags a little too much, but this is still solid filmmaking.
Story by Mike Sheridan | 16:54 | Tuesday 29th May 2012 | DVD review
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