Synopsis: An ex-con who threatens to jump from the ledge of a Manhattan hotel captures the attention of the whole city, whilst the world’s biggest diamond heist takes place across town.
Description: An ex-policeman turned criminal threatens to kill himself by jumping from the roof of a Manhattan sky scraper, the first officer on the scene calls for back up and a SWAT team are dispatched along with a female police psychiatrist who has been specifically requested to attend. Things are not as straight forward as they seem however, as the eyes of most of New York’s police and emergency departments are distracted a massive robbery takes place.
Review: Starring Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Edward Burns and Jamie Bell Man on a Ledge is a crime thriller that fits the genre bill perfectly: Nick (Worthington) is an escaped convict threatening to commit suicide all in an attempt to prove his innocence; both tension and suspense ensue and in this lies the crux of the movie’s narrative.
For starters, Worthington’s innocence is never questioned; he was jailed for a stealing from a rich and influential New Yorker, yet it is quite clear to the audience that he’s really a decent bloke caught up in something terrible; automatically justifying the rest of the slightly flimsy narrative.
Police negotiator Banks – nick named the Grim Reaper by her colleagues after a man did in fact jump from a bridge on her watch – isn’t daft though, she catches on pretty quickly that there’s something odd about Nick Cassidy’s refusal to jump or climb down safely and this is where things begin to get complicated.
It’s fairly obvious where all this is going; Nick has enlisted his brother Joey (Jamie Bell minus the ballet shoes), who in turn has roped in his girlfriend Angie, to break into a high security vault to steal some diamonds. Whilst the rest of the narrative is devoted to discovering who framed Nick for the original diamond robbery, which can be worked out fairly quickly by any reasonably intelligent viewer.
Man on a Ledge is not a bad film, in fact it’s fairly entertaining; there is a healthy amount of tension from the on-the-ledge bits and a smattering of comedy from Bell, his girlfriend and Kyra Sedgwick’s reporter role, but there isn’t anything particularly new and refreshing about the piece as a whole.
The comedy elements of the film are probably the most surprising aspect of Man on a Ledge, whilst the chemistry between Joey Cassidy and girlfriend Angie while they attempt their amateur heist is unexpectedly sparky and fun. The ultimate outcome of the piece, however, is obvious almost from the opening credits; thankfully the journey through the movie’s 102 minutes is (however tame and predictable) nevertheless quite fun.