Man on a Ledge Blu-Ray Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, June 05, 2012
“Do not pay any attention to that man behind the curtain!” Like an amateur illusionist who wants you to look over here while the good stuff is going in over there, the plot of “Man on a Ledge” is all about distraction in more ways than one. At its base is the oft-told tale of a cop wrongly sent to prison. Nick Cassady (Worthington) was accused of stealing a diamond worth 40 million dollars from wealthy real estate magnate David Englander (Ed Harris). Allowed out of prison to attend his father’s funeral, Nick overpowers two (stupid) guards and escapes. He arrives days later at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York and checks in under a false name. Nick steps out onto a ledge twenty stories up, seemingly to commit suicide and demands to speak with police negotiator Lydia Mercer (Banks).
While Mercer and fellow cop Jack Dougherty (Burns) try to talk Nick off the ledge, the real action is taking place across the street as Nick’s younger brother Joey (Jamie Bell), and girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez), are attempting to break into Englander’s building and his vault to steal the diamond that Nick supposedly heisted to prove his innocence. Yes indeed we are going to need a big distraction to buy this load of malarkey (Man I’ve always wanted to use malarkey in a review!). I’m not sure even the most imaginative viewer has the ability to suspend this much belief. Yet as ridiculous as it all is, it’s still eminently watchable.
There’s lots going on between Mercer trying to figure out what Nick is up to; Joey and Angie playing expert cat burglars; Englander preening to the camera every chance he gets and trying to be a badass gangster; and commanding officer Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) ready to send in the SWAT team at any moment. It’s loaded with the usual dirty cops who are not hard to spot in the least, as well as a shout out to recent Occupy movements as the crowd below turns the possible suicide attempt into a chance to show how big corporations are trampling on the little guy. Pretty soon we don’t even ask anymore just how it is that a couple of twenty-somethings like Joey and Angie seem to be experts in demolitions and hi-tech security systems. They break into this “secure” vault about as easy as the average ten year-old sneaks an Oreo out of the kitchen cookie jar.
One can also wonder…if one were to nit-pick…just what evidence was used to convict Nick for 25 years for stealing a diamond he obviously didn’t take. What physical evidence possibly could have been submitted to prove Nick’s guilt, especially his being a cop with an otherwise stellar record? There are murderers that don’t serve 25 years in prison. All the silliness aside, Man on A Ledge features a stellar cast that also includes Kyra Sedgwick as an annoying TV reporter, and the underrated William Sadler as a hotel porter. And frankly I could watch the gorgeous Genesis Rodriguez just stand around for a couple of hours. As long as you don’t peek behind the curtain and ask questions, Man on the Ledge is passable entertainment.
Audio Commentary with Elizabeth Banks
The Ledge (15:17) – Goes into the development of the film…finding the right location, deciding how high the ledge should be to look good on film, and conveying the sense of danger to viewers. Interviews with cast members included.
Mania Grade: C
Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris, Edward Burns
Written By: Pablo Fenjves
Directed BY: Asger Leth
Distributor: Summit Home Entertainment
Original Year of Release: 2012
Extras: See Below