Man on a Ledge is utterly uninspired ludicrousness | Film Review | Indy Week
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Man on a Ledge is utterly uninspired ludicrousness 

Sam Worthington in the unbelievably ridiculous "Man on a Ledge"

Photo by Myles Aronowitz

Sam Worthington in the unbelievably ridiculous "Man on a Ledge"

I don't know about any of you, but the movie year doesn't start for me until I see a flick where the utterly uninspired ludicrousness is so flagrant and visible in every frame, you're persistently in a state of slack-jawed disbelief. Well, I'm here to introduce you to Man on a Ledge.

This movie has Sam Worthington, sporting an American accent and a Billy Ray Cyrus "Achy Breaky Heart"-era mullet, as an escaped convict who's looking to end his life by jumping off the ledge of a New York City high-rise hotel. It turns out that this fugitive was once a respected New York cop who says he was framed for the theft of an expensive diamond owned by a sinister real estate tycoon (Ed Harris, giving a laughably dastardly performance).

The cops, led by Ed Burns' relentlessly sarcastic detective and Elizabeth Banks' tortured-yet-still-looks-stunning-in-the-morning hostage negotiator, believe it's a ploy for attention, and they're not far off. His younger brother (Jamie Bell) and his brother's way-outta-his-league girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) are across the street, breaking into the tycoon's building in an attempt to find the purportedly stolen diamond they believe is still in his possession.

Certain moviegoers may consider this premise the makings of halfway decent junk to see on a weekend night, but the movie's pitifully executed preposterousness may gnaw at people's nerves. Despite the fact that it was filmed on location, it's another in a long line of studio action-thrillers set in a New York that feels inauthentic, with most of the cast talking in annoying Noo Yawk accents that may drive actual New Yorkers up the wall. The dialogue is rip-roaringly cheesy: Banks and Worthington's back-and-forths sound like they're reading fortune cookies to each other.

Considering that the film is directed by one-time Danish documentarian Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cite Soleil) and TV-movie scribe/ O.J. Simpson memoir ghostwriter Pablo Fenjves, it's no wonder the movie seems to wallow in artificiality and half-assedness. They basically patch a narrative together by jacking the best moments from fun popcorn flicks like The Negotiator and Inside Man. If it weren't for the fact that Contraband came out a couple of weeks ago, I'd say Man on a Ledge is the most ridiculous new movie out there. However, it's definitely the most unbelievably ridiculous new movie.

Film Details

Man on a Ledge
Rated PG-13 · 102 min. · 2012
Official Site:
Director: Asger Leth
Writer: Pablo F. Fenjves and Chris Gorak
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian
Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Ed Burns, Genesis Rodriguez, Kyra Sedgwick and Ed Harris


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