Rating: 2 stars out of 5
The Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris
The Buzz: Not too long ago, Sam Worthington was the only good thing in "Terminator: Salvation" and the leading man in the biggest movie in years, "Avatar". As of late, his stock seems to have faded, so is "Man On A Ledge" the vehicle to bring him back to relevance?
The Story: Nick Cassidy, an ex-cop is sentenced to jail for a whopping 25 years. However, it is for a crime he did not commit. David Englander, a shrewd businessman has framed him to save his fortune from the worldwide economic crisis. Convinced that he was framed and that the diamond is with Englander, he launches a plan - one that involves him standing on a ledge of a building to distract them he cops while his brother and his girlfriend infiltrate the vault.
inSing.com thinks: We have to admit that, "Man On A Ledge" has an interesting and even thrilling premise that drew us in right from the start. It is a fascinating concept indeed--using a suicide attempt as a distraction for a heist attempt. One that comes off as smart even. However, the film wastes all its potential rather quickly. Once Nick gets on that ledge, it's a free fall.
Much of the film's failure lies with the fact that Nick is well, on a ledge. He sort of advances the story by feeding information to his brother, Joey and his gal pal Angie as well as Lydia Mercer, the negotiator who deals with him.
The end result? Something not very cinematic, and with lots of spoon feeding going on. The heist scenes also suffer as a result, as everything just feels way too convenient to be true.
The plot just feels too thin for the most part. It almost seems like this script was approved just because of the initial premise, and without much development. The rest of the film then stretches out this premise and plot line for as long as possible, turning it from a good short story and then trying to extend it for a full 90 minutes. And it shows as the filmmakers did not do it very well.
When things start to fall apart, we usually hope the cast can keep it together and still make the movie watchable through their performances. Sadly, that doesn't happen here. Although the cast looks terrific on paper, it only stays on paper - not translating to screen well at all.
Aside from Joey and Angie (Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez), none of the other characters seem to have much chemistry, which is disappointing because the film sorely needed that. Ed Harris should be singled out for a terrible performance as he seemed like he was just phoning in an eloquently vicious John-Malkovich-parody-type performance.
Sam Worthington on the other hand, brings almost nothing to the table: No vibe of any kind is present--no charming-easy-to-like vibes, no badass vibes and no ultra-sincere vibes--just blandness.
The narrative with its "who did it-who set Nick up" question is not anything we haven't seen before, although it still makes for quite an intense set up.
However, the film misses the chance to take it to the next level by not having any kind of character arcs at all. It's so focused on the revenge plot that there is almost zero character development to speak of, and even then it's in the role of Lydia Mercer, who is played Elizabeth Banks. She's talented but is really out of her depth here as a negotiator.
"Man On A Ledge" basically oozes potential, but the lack of development in the proper areas let it down. There is still some excitement to be had from the action set pieces which should please viewers who are more forgiving.
But as a whole, the film banks too much on the premise (of a man on a ledge) and fails in almost every other area so even if you enjoy the action, you'll still feel terribly detached.
For the most part, "Man On A Ledge" is all flash but hardly any substance.