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Man On A Ledge

Man on a Ledge

Released 3 February 2012
Director Asger Leth

Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Anthony Mackie, Genesis Rodriguez
Writer(s) Pablo F. Fenjves
Producer(s) Lorenzo Di Bonaventura
Origin United States
Running Time 102 minutes
Genre Thriller, crime
Rating 12A

Another tower heist.

Last year in these very virtual pages, I was pretty harsh on Hollywood’s beefcake du jour Sam Worthington for his confused performance in the excruciating relationship drama, Last Night. Now we meet again as he stars in new thriller Man On A Ledge and shockingly, I’m going to be quite nice about him. That’s not to say the man has suddenly found his inner De Niro but he does acquit himself quite well. This is precisely the kind of role he has the skill to pull off; he is indeed a man and he does have the ability to stand on a ledge, which is what he is called to do for the majority of the film.

Worthington plays Nick Cassidy, an ex-cop serving a hefty jail sentence for the theft of a diamond from multi-millionaire and all around bad guy David Englander (Ed Harris). Cassidy maintains his innocence and after making a daring escape, climbs out on the ledge of a downtown hotel to protest his innocence and create a diversion for a daring robbery happening just across the street.

Worthington may play the title character here but really all the good stuff (both plot and performance wise) is happening away from his vertiginous perch. Inside the hotel room are police negotiators Edward Burns (always a competent performer) and Elizabeth Banks, who I enjoyed seeing outside of her usual comedic roles; she is the real star of the show here. Across the street meanwhile, Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez are the intrepid burglars. Bell is likable but his role is hardly challenging. Rodriguez meanwhile is stuck playing one of those unimaginatively brassy Latina stereotypes. They’re an unlikely pair to pull off such a complicated heist.

Of course, none of Man On A Ledge is groundbreaking, clever or anywhere near the realms of plausibility - I could have predicted the twists and turns the plot would take from the first five minutes. Still, it’s entertaining stuff. Director Asger Leth doesn’t let the pace flag and the whole thing zips along pleasingly with minimal fuss. Just remember to leave your brain at the door.

- Linda O’Brien