Friday, June 29, 2012

"Man on a Ledge" Review

    In this movie... I honest don't remember what happened. This is Man on a Ledge!

    Remember back when I reviewed This Means War and I said that a movie's biggest problem can sometimes be how it approaches it's plot. Man on a Ledge takes a page out of This Means War's playbook  by taking it's potentially fantastic plot and approaching it in the wrong way. The plot, which follows Sam Worthington (An actor where I completely don't understand the hype about him) as Nick Cassidy a man who was wrongfully convicted of stealing a diamond from the woefully underused Ed Harris. Nick escapes from prison and steps out on a ledge of an New York City hotel. Soon the media coverage is all on him as he talks to Elizabeth Banks's negotiator, while his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and his brother's girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) break into Ed Harris's safe in order to get evidence to prove Nick innocent.
    If the intriguing plot was handled as more of a straight forward Hitchcock-style thriller, it could have easily been one of the best movies of the year. However, director Asger Leth (In his first major directing job) treats the film as an utterly forgettable, unforgivably boring actioner and takes it's premise to preposterous levels.

Mission: Impossible this ain't.
    The storyline involving Worthington and Banks high above the New York City streets is undoubtedly the better of the two storylines, though it still doesn't work. Worthington I've never really liked and he doesn't win me over with this film. Banks is a great actress and is the best one in this film, giving the film way more effort than it actually deserves. With spectators looking on (Including Kyra Sedgwick in a glorified cameo) Worthington has a decent enough banter with Banks. He vaguely, and even in one clever scene, twists his words so that they always seem to have a double meaning as to the situation he's in and his brother's ongoing heist. Banks is given a completely unnecessary and underdeveloped backstory, involving the death of a cop at her hands... I think. The movie never elaborates on the basic facts.
    The heist storyline is downright shameful. The heist is one of the most preposterous in film history. The heist is meant to be stealthy right? So, couldn't they have figured out a better way to breaking into the vault, other than high-explosives, sledgehammers and loud power tools. They in all seriousness set off an explosion literally above the heads of the crowds watching Nick. (Oh, did I forget to mention that the vault is right across the street from the ledge Nick stands on?) Like no one would look up and see the giant dust cloud rising from the roof.
    It gets worse. A later scene throws the unexpected hurdle of a heat-sensing camera where they though a heat-sensing camera would not be. The solution? To run down the hallway, spraying a fire extinguisher, then using the extinguisher to literally freeze the camera. The writer clearly does not understand how technology works. In fact, most of the heist is pathetically low-tech. How do they get past security cameras? A skateboard and a tarp. How does they get past other, non-fire extinguishable heat-sensing cameras? Put on a wet suit. The vault itself? A little Liquid Nitrogen never hurt anybody. Oh wait. I could go on about the laughably-bad "mutli-million" dollar security system the vault supposedly is. Seriously, if they paid millions for this security system, than that was the real heist. Add on to the fact that Jamie Bell gives an unusually bad performance and the fact that Rodriguez certainly is sexy, but seems to have taken acting lessons from Megan Fox, and you get a really awful time.

    Man on a Ledge had potential. The premise had me wanting to hear more. Unfortunately, when I heard the rest, I couldn't care less. The scenes with Worthington and Banks are decent, but really feature nothing remotely interesting. The heist may very well be one of the worst in film history. The movie is preposterous to a critical point. Man on a Ledge should've jumped. Man on a Ledge gets 2 stars out of 6.

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