Review: Man on a Ledge

Posted on January 28, 2012
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There haven’t been many good thrillers lately in the multiplex, so when I saw Man on a Ledge I figured it had some potential to fill the void in that category.

Sam Worthington, of Avatar fame stars as Nick Cassidy, a escaped convict who halts midtown New York City by standing 20 stories above it to proclaim his innocence.

One of the major draws of Man on a Ledge is the amazing cast that surrounds Worthington. Jamie Bell plays Nick’s brother Joey, he’s paired with girlfriend Genesis Rodriguez whose rather easy on the eyes. The cops in the film are played by Edward Burns, Anthony Mackie, Elizabeth Banks, Kyra Sedgwick, Titus Welliver, and Ed Harris.

All play major roles in the film and compliment each other in the story seamlessly.

The story is rather far fetched, but if you haven’t learned to turn the “real-life” switch off when you walk into the theater it’s time to start.

Fast paced, heart-pounding action from the moment you sit down, director Asger Leth does a great job telling, and showcasing the story via slick camera work, of Cassidy’s path towards clearing his name without any lulls in the story.

As Cassidy steps foot out of The Roosevelt Hotel suite on the 20th floor panic ensues below, just as planned. You see Cassidy is out for revenge, he was once framed for stealing a diamond he allegedly never stole. Now Cassidy has planned “his second trial” on the ledge for all to see, while his brother Joey and Angie go on a mission to help Cassidy find the proof he needs.

The other story line centers around Banks who plays Agent Lydia Mercer, a troubled cop whose specialty focuses in talking potential jumpers off the proverbial ledge. Her new assignment is to try and calming Nick Cassidy down and getting him from committing suicide in front of the whole world.

As the story progresses and connections are made, cops are forced to make decisions while pasts are connected.

Harris plays millionaire real estate mogul David Englander, and the man whose behind this diamond fiasco Cassidy is trying to recuse himself from. He’s not the only “uppity” and snarky character here, news reporter Suzie Morales, played by Kyra Sedgwick plays the public face of what’s transpiring above the city. Why Sedgwick is playing a spanish reporter, I do not know.

The few gripes I had revolved around some shoddy script writing, especially surrounding Mercer’s attempt to get Cassidy down, and especially Ed Burns’ character Jack Dougherty lines throughout the film, very corny. While the ending was a tad predictable, it’s not too bad with one solid twist.

Man on a Ledge does a great job keeping you on edge, for a lack of better term. With multiple events taking place during the story, your always focused on Cassidy being inches away from plummeting to the concrete. You’ll wonder what can set him off, what will it take to make the plunge, all the while your hands will get clammy from nervousness and the anxiety that builds.

That’s the telling of a great paced thriller. To throw a comparison out there, think Inside Man just high atop a building give or take a few details.

This is an enjoyable watch, with a great supporting cast all around that gives some life into a genre that’s gotten predictable and boring recently.

Rating: 8/10