“Man on a Ledge” opened in unimpressive fashion, claiming fifth-place at the box-office this weekend, and grossing a mild $8.3 million domestically.
The film introduces Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), as a former police officer who has since been charged with the theft of a $40 million dollar diamond from businessman Dave Englander (Ed Harris). Faced with a 25-year sentence, Cassidy is accompanied by police when he is released for one day to attend the funeral of his father.
When a fight occurs between Cassidy and his brother, Joey (Jamie Bell), at the funeral, Nick manages to escape after police attempt to intervene. He checks in at the Roosevelt Hotel under a false name, and after leaving a suicide note, steps onto the ledge of his top-floor hotel room, apparently ready to commit suicide.
As Detective Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) tries talking him away from the ledge, Nick is contacted via earpiece by Joey, who tells him the predetermined plan to prove his innocence is ready for action.
Along with his girlfriend, Angie (Genesis Rodriguez), Joey breaks into Englander’s office, where they intend on stealing the diamond Englander has already been reimbursed for by insurance after a fraudulent claim of its theft. Joey and Angie must outwit police, alarms, and Englander in an attempt to retrieve the diamond and thereby prove Nick’s innocence.
Because the film offers little set variation, the plot tends to grow stale at times. The transitions between action take place almost entirely on the hotel ledge and Englander’s office, and at times, might have the viewer wondering when the thrill in this so-called thriller will come into play.
The vast amount of time spent following the unrealistic 007 moves of Joey and Angie sacrifices time that could have been better used, and makes for an abrupt and cheesy happy-ending that fails to tie up some relevant loose ends.
The film also comes with a major plot flaw. When Joey and Angie steal the diamond and give it to Nick, they are only further condemning him by placing counter-productive evidence in his pocket, and supporting Englander’s claim. As if the writer realized this fact halfway through, the diamond expectedly shifts back into Englander’s hands, making the prolonged efforts of Joey and Angie feel even less worthwhile.
Still, the film is just fun enough to give a try. The acting is undeserving of the bashing it has received on critic websites, and the plot is just unique enough to give viewers something fresh to watch.
Take the leap of faith, and go see “Man on a Ledge” (during matinee).