“From Summit Entertainment” (the company responsible for unleashing the “epic” ‘Twilight Saga’ to the innocent masses) “and the producer of ‘Transformers’ and ‘Red'” (like anyone cares who he is) comes “Man on a Ledge”. Seriously? This is how you get people to watch an action thriller in 2012? By hinting the crew members of the film instead of the actors and/or the fucking director ?! Next thing you know, more and more trailers for action films will include text like: “From the script supervisor of ‘The Expendables’ (like that film needed a script! HA!), and the boom operator for “The Artist”(I know! It’s not an action movie. But because it’s a silent film, you won’t need a… oh, never mind!).
But you see, “Man on a Ledge” is actually directed by a dude named Asger Leth. Nobody knows who he is. Wikipedia doesn’t have any info on him. IMDB, however, has a list of his previous films and a very short biography on him (son of some guy, and one of three children). But of course, nobody is going to watch an action thriller directed by Asger Leth unless there was someone in it who’s worth watching for at least 90 minutes of your life. Unfortunately, we’re given Sam Worthington.
Am I the only one who thinks Sam is really not that great of an actor? He wasn’t bad in “Avatar” (mostly due to the fact that he was a blue alien through most of the film). But I despised him in “Terminator Salvation” and “Clash of the Titans” due to his piss-poor acting in both films. I have yet to suffer, I mean, watch “Wrath of the Titans” which also stars Sam as the lead actor. And yet, here he is in this film, bringing the same C-grade acting we’ve come to expect from him. However, it’s not just his performance that brings this film down. It’s not even Asger’s direction. IT’S THE FUCKING STORY!
Allow me to explain. Or attempt to.
Nick Cassidy is an ex-cop who was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit – the theft of a $40 million diamond from businessman David Englander. While in jail, his ex-partner Mike Ackerman tells him that his father passed away. Of course, Nick is allowed to attend the funeral. And of course, he uses the advantage of being outside to escape. He gets into a car and speeds off, with the police hot on his trail. He even drives over a train track, only to have the car run over by an oncoming train. And amazingly enough, he survives! I mean, if he didn’t, we won’t have “Man on a Ledge”. Sigh. How I long for a non-generic action film to be released this year.
Anyway, cut to a month later, and Nick checks into the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. He has a nice meal, washes his hands and face, and then steps out the window onto the ledge. Pedestrians stop and stare upward at Nick, wondering (or hoping) that he falls face-first to the street. Obviously, the police step in to investigate. But Nick only wants to speak with the negotiator Lydia Mercer. Why? ‘Cause Sam Worthington needs a female interest, regardless of the fact that he spends most of the film on a fucking ledge! Or at least that’s what I believe. Lydia arrives and persuades Nick to get off the ledge. Nick keeps telling her that he was innocent of the diamond robbery, and that he was framed by Englander. Meanwhile, Joey, Nick’s brother, and Angie, Joey’s girlfriend, are trying to break into the building across the street, where Englander’s jewelry vault is located. Surprisingly (and ridiculously) enough, Nick is actually orchestrating the heist via radio contact with Joey and Angie. In other words, while Nick distracts the cops, Joey and Angie break inside the vault to steal the same diamond he was initially accused of stealing. Will they succeed in stealing the diamond? Will Nick slip off the ledge by accident and fall on his face? Or will he fall on his back? Or will he break his legs? These questions will be answered in “Man on a Ledge”.
Nick Cassidy – Sam Worthington
Lydia Mercer – Elizabeth Banks
Joey Cassidy – Jamie Bell
Angie Lopez – Genesis Rodriguez
Mike Ackerman – Anthony Mackie
David Englander – Ed Harris
MY THOUGHTS: As you may have gathered, “Man on a Ledge” has a REE-DICK-YOU-LUST plot. If I can sum it up into one sentence, it’ll be this: Arrested for his assumed involvement in a diamond heist, an escaped convict tries to prove his innocence by attracting the police’s attention through a suicide attempt on the ledge of a high-rise hotel, while his brother attempts to steal the SAME diamond that he was accused of stealing in the first place. You gotta be fucking kidding me! And even in its ridiculousness, there’s no attempt – NONE – to develop the script further. The viewer is expected to be dumbed down by the visceral thrills that the film provides. This, of course, is an attempt by the filmmakers to make the viewer unaware of how stupid the story really is. The actors in this film (with the exception of Mr. Sam Worthington who doesn’t even try to act) try their hardest to play their roles seriously. Even Ed Harris, who appears to be gradually turning into an alien as he ages (look at the face and head on that guy for God’s sake) tries to cope with the stench of the film’s storyline. But even his talent was wasted. The direction by whatshisface isn’t anything extraordinary or notable or memorable for that matter. And by the film’s end, and even after you finish read this review, you’ll forget his name anyway. The action scenes are forgettable, and the heist scenes are preposterous. Even Genesis Rodriguez (who just so happens to be both attractive and annoying in the film) stripping out of her black outfit during the middle of the heist is preposterous. Ultimately, Man on a Ledge isn’t just a generic action thriller, but an insult to the intelligence of anyone watching it. It isn’t the worst film to come out for 2012, but it’ll definitely be forgotten before year’s end. Just like the name of its director.
SHOULD I SEE THIS FILM? Though I didn’t watch “Man on a Ledge” in a movie theater, that doesn’t stop me from DEMANDING MY MONEY BACK! That being said, there’s better action thrillers out there that you can look at instead of this film. If you still believe that story doesn’t matter when it comes to an action movie, then by all means, watch it. But after you realize that you’ve wasted 102 minutes of your life, PLEASE…..PLEASE do not look for a high-rise building to jump out of! The last thing I want is blood on my hands. I’m just saying.
MY RATING – 2 out of 5 stars (“I Want my Money Back”)