Friday, October 26, 2012

Man On A Ledge (2012)

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an ex-policeman, who is looking for justice, and he will do anything to clear his name. Nick was framed for a crime he didn’t commit. David Englander (Ed Harris) is the wealthy and ruthless businessman, who set him up. Financially, Englander had fallen on hard times, he wanted more money, and he didn’t want to lose his powerful and respected image. Englander hatched a plan to steal his own $40 million diamond, because Englander could easily return to prominence, once he collected the insurance money. Unfortunately, Nick was chosen as the fall guy. Nick’s career and reputation were ruined. He became the disgraced cop, who nobody wanted to trust. But one day, Nick managed to escape police custody during his father’s “funeral.” Nick has become a fugitive on the run, and Nick only has a select few allies that are trustworthy.

Nick didn’t have any luck in courts, so he comes up with a plan of his own. Nick decides to create a massive diversion, as he teases a suicide jump, while standing on the ledge of a hotel. Meanwhile, his brother, Joey (Jamie Bell) and his girlfriend, Angie (Génesis Rodríguez) break into Englander’s jewelry vault across the street. Angie and Joey try to steal the “stolen” diamond, but finding it won’t be easy, because Englander went through extraordinary measures to conceal his prized possession. While on the ledge, Nick desperately tries to gain the trust of Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks). Lydia is a troubled negotiator, but she could be Nick’s only hope. Angie and Joey must steal the $40 million diamond, if they want to clear Nick’s name, and falirue is not an option, because this is Nick’s last shot at freedom.

I wanted to get into this, but Man On Ledge really did disappointment me. I wasn’t expecting anything great here, but I thought Man On Ledge could be a solid suspense/thriller. Well, I was wrong.

Suspension of disbelief is something you must have before you prepare to watch certain films. “Well, this IS a movie, so I guess anything could happen.” This is the mentality most of us have, when we see something ridiculously over the top on-screen (wild car chases, presumed dead characters, who come back to life, flashy final showdowns between the main characters, etc.) Well, I tried to have this mentality with Man On A Ledge, but they pushed everything way past the limit.

I actually laughed out loud a few times, as Angie and Joey tried to steal the precious 40$ diamond. Engladner is supposed to have this state of the art security system, and nobody should have a realistic shot of breaking into his concealed jewelery vault. Yeah, I get it. Angie and Joey are supposed to be these highly skilled and crafty thieves, they’ve studied Englander’s vault, and they know how to work around the advanced and elaborate security systems. Still, I couldn’t feel the tension during the robbery scenes at the jewelry vault, because I couldn’t buy into the elaborate heist. At one point in the film, Joey actually covers himself in a white sheet, while gliding across a skateboard. Joey needed to sneak past the cameras without being seen, and this was his best plan. I wanted to facepalm during this scene, but the ridiculous and unbelievable material didn’t stop here. Joey and Angie needed to sneak past a bunch of heat sensors, so they decide to spray them with a fire extinguisher. Joey sprays the heat sensors, and the happy couple runs past the last set of hurdles before they reach the grand prize (Engladner’s jewelry room).

I’m sorry, but the scenes that involved Angie and Joey just felt so far fetched and unrealistic, and I couldn’t loose myself in this particular fantasy world. Englander’s vault is supposed to have one of THE most high tech security systems around, and Angie and Joey are able to break through it with a few strokes of luck? Please. Also, I can’t forget about Sam Worthington’s “leap of faith.”

Towards the end of the film, Nick has ran out of options, and Englader has regained his precious diamond. Nick needs to retrieve the diamond, if he wants to regain his freedom, so he decides to leap off of the hotel building. Nick actually runs across a different ledge on the hotel, and he miraculously lands on an air mattress, that was set up by police earlier in the film. Nick fights his way through a large crowd of people and police, but the cops eventually catch up to him. Engladner begins to taunt Nick, but Nick’s chances of freedom are still alive, because he receives help from a crazy homeless man? That’s right, a crazy homeless man, who is shown throughout the film helps Nick, and Nick eventually grabs the diamond from Englander. Nick clears his name, and he becomes a free man again.

Yeah, I wish I could’ve made that whole story up, but this actually happens in the film. Worthington’s character takes this impossible leap off of the hotel building, and he PERFECTLY lands on the air mattress. The jump on to the air mattress was bad enough, but they took everything to another level, when they decided to give Nick an assist from the unknown and crazy homeless man.
**End spoilers**

Having suspension of disbelief is one thing, but everything will start to feel ridiculous and silly, when you decide to push the envelope too far, and Man On A Ledge really didn’t have any limits, when it came to unrealistic and far fetched plotlines.

Solid acting saved this one from a lower score, because the majority of the cast did deliver some very solid performances here. I’m not a fan of Sam Worthington, but he was believable, as the man, who desperately wanted one last chance, and I really wanted to feel for his character. And Ed Harris was just excellent as the main antagonist in this film. Englander was the cold and ruthless businessman, who was willing to do anything to stay on top, and Harris did provide the necessary convincing performance. Elizabeth Banks and Jamie Bell also deserve a good amount of credit for the solid acting in this film. Anthony Mackie was another nice addition to the cast, and he was able to provide a decent performance. As far as Génesis Rodríguez goes, It’s hard for me to say anything positive about her. Rodríguez was able to shed a few tears here, but overall her acting really didn’t help elevate this film at all, and she was just eye candy for the most part. Hopefully, she’ll do better in Casa de Mi Padre.

I thought Eagle Eye was the most far fetched suspense/thriller I’ve seen over the past couple of years, but I was wrong. Man On A Ledge is a preposterous suspense/thriller, and I just couldn’t take this film seriously most of the time. This film painfully goes through the motions the entire time, and I always believed Worthington’s character would get the last laugh here. The lame swerves didn’t fool me at all, and the laughable conclusion for this film was just awful. “Hey let’s see how many ticks we can pull out of are asses! The audience probably won’t care or notice, because after all, this is a movie!” This had to be the mentality of the writers, directors, and producers for this film. As I said before, they really took advantage of the “this is suppose to be a fantasy world” stuff. The very solid acting really is the only real highlight of this film, but I was expecting more excitement from this one. This was supposed to be a suspense/thriller, but Man On A Ledge can feel very boring most of the time.

Sam Worthington should desperately cling to his one hit wonder fame from Avatar, because he isn’t the type of guy, who can carry a film on his back, as the lead man. He just doesn’t have that attraction as a true lead star in Hollywood. He couldn’t stand out in Clash Of Titans, he had a lot of help from Christian Bale in Terminator: Salvation, and he couldn’t carry Man On A Ledge as the leading actor, because he did have a good amount of help (Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Titus Welliver, Edward Burns) in this film.

Final Rating: 3/10

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