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 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.