In Review: Man on a Ledge

By Maryann O’Connor

I’m sure you’ve guessed the rough premise of the film by deciphering the opaque meaning of the title. Sam Worthington is *drumroll* a man on a ledge. Well, his name is Nick Cassidy in the film.

He is also a fugitive from the law, an ex-cop and brother to Joey Cassidy, played by Jamie Bell (the all grown up Billy Elliott). Nick escapes from incarceration whilst on strict, boiler-suited and shackled leave to attend his father’s funeral, steals a gun and drives away. He then turns up at a hotel in New Yawk all suited and fancied up, gets a room and climbs out on the window ledge.

But why’s he doing that? Well, like Dr Richard Kimble, he claims to be innocent of a big and naughty crime (stealing a diamond from David Englander) and he ain’t getting off that ledge until the mix-up is sorted out. He’s got some very specific requests in mind too, like who he’ll talk to – he demands the presence of cop psychologist Kate Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) – much to the disdain of the first cop on the scene, Jack Dougherty (standard cop role for Ed Burns). Nick clearly had a lot of time to watch the news in prison because he’s had his eye on Kate Mercer for a while: she doesn’t give up on her ‘jumpers’!

Obviously there is more to this story then him trying to prove his innocence by threatening to jump off a tall building. That’s for us to know and for you to find out (only if you want to, of course we’re not going to force you). Some of the tactics Kate Mercer uses makes you hope that psychologists don’t employ same methods to stop people jumping. At one point she remarks that the people watching below actually want him to jump.Way to go lady, give him hope for the future! But I digress…

There are a lot of little touches which mean this film is more entertaining than it sounds. The conversations taking place between Nick’s brother Joey and his girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) are very funny even if they’re not meant to be. As are the scenes where we watch them running round and Angie suddenly goes from being fully covered up to being almost naked. Yeah it was funny. The portrayal of the news crews covering the event is even more scathing than usual with Kyra Sedgwick playing the insufferable anchorwoman on the scene.

Sam Worthington is in his comfort zone with films like this, bit of cool car chase, quite a bit of action and not too much room for bad acting. Elizabeth Banks is reasonably entertaining and devoted as the psychologist who can’t-get-no-sleep: she’s had a bad run and needs to redeem herself with this job. You might not feel her desperation but you like her all the same. The only thing which annoyed me was the sappy ending: it could easily have finished 5 minutes beforehand.

This is Asger Leth’s first feature film as a fully-fledged director and he does a pretty good job: the film keeps a good pace and there’s plenty to keep you interested. It’s not The Fugitive but an entertaining film all the same, fit for any cold night in February.

Maryann has awarded Man on a Ledge three Torches of Truth

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