Man on a Ledge: Typical Hollywood Heist Film Manages to Entertain
Nick (Worthington) is the man on the ledge. An escaped convict framed
for the theft of a diamond, he’s ready to commit suicide in the most public way
possible to prove to the world that he’s innocent. At least that’s what he’s
hoping the police will think his plan is, in particular Lydia Mercer (Banks),
the detective he asks. While he is innocent, he isn’t naive enough to think
anyone will care if he jumps to death.
The stunt is a ploy to create a
diversion to distract the police from the heist that is taking place right
across the street. Nick’s brother, Joey (Bell), and Joey’s girlfriend Angie
(Rodriguez), are stealing the diamond that Nick was jailed for its alleged
theft. If they manage to get past the building’s high tech security gadgets and
personnel and into the vault, they’ll have incontrovertible proof of Nick’s
innocence and a way to bring down the obscenely rich owner of the diamond and
the corrupt policemen who helped him frame Nick.
Worthington seems to be incapable of shouting without reverting to his
native Australian accent. Other than that, he brings his usual bland presence
to the role doing a perfectly adequate job as a man pretending to commit
suicide. He could have done something to ratchet up the tension a couple of
notches but he’s completely serviceable nonetheless, primarily because most of
his screen time is spent opposite the great, and criminally underused, Banks.
She plays a police psychologist suffering from PTSS due to an assignment gone
wrong where she was unable to prevent a man from jumping off a bridge. She has
to deal not only with her severely shaken confidence but her derisive co-workers
as well. Nevertheless, she quickly gets a handle on the situation and is
committed to doing what her instincts tell her is right no matter what it
Bell and Rodriguez spend their time on screen disabling sensors,
shimmying through air shafts and getting out of sticky situations in the nick
of time, and they make a good team as partners in crime. As lovers, though;
they have zero chemistry. In addition, the few lines they’re given illuminate
just how much better an actor Bell is than Rodriguez. Throughout the film, the latter is stuck in a very low cut top, a push
up bra that gives her cleavage up to her chin and there’s even a completely
gratuitous underwear shot thrown in. Joey, of course, gets to dress very
sensibly in a t shirt and jeans.
Man on a Ledge
gets slow and boring in parts but ends on a high, action packed note. This
reviewer’s biggest contention was that the story, which gets most it’s tension
from the possibility of Nick falling 20 floors to his death, wasn’t
accompanied by strong enough visuals. There wasn’t one shot in the whole film
that was as vertigo inducing as the Burj Khalifa scene from the latest Mission: Impossible film. And while Mission: Impossible raised the bar
tremendously on portraying heights, Man
on a Ledge wasn’t anywhere in the vicinity. In fact, Worthington seemed a
tad too comfortable on the ledge.
Man on a Ledge
starts off as more of a psychological drama before morphing into a full-blown
action film. And though largely by the numbers, it has some pretty inspired moments and is more fun than not.