Going to see Man on a Ledge was a novel experience for me because I had managed to hear very little about the film beforehand, so went in with few expectations.
It appears that everyone else has also managed to avoid the hype for this film as well: it was just two pensioners and myself in the midweek screening I attended.
The film opens with Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) booking into a hotel. Upon entering his room, he treats himself to lobster and champagne for breakfast before writing a note, and calmly stepping out of his 21st story window onto the ledge outside. The whole film has the look and feel of a classic 80s-early 90s action flick. It is simply, but competently shot. The attraction here comes not from stylistics, but from narrative and performance. Too many films are obsessed with shocking twists in the final 10 minutes of running time. All too often this means that there is barely any plot for the vast majority of the film and the final twist is meant to make up for it. Here, however, the plot slowly reveals its secrets over the entire running time. There are definitely twists and surprises along the way, but they are revealed organically rather than withheld for as long as possible. It is impossible to talk too deeply about the plot of the film without giving away plenty of spoilers. But rest assured this is a cracking action/thriller storyline that teases the viewer with just the right amount of intrigue.
Sam Worthington really reminds one of a younger Russell Crowe in this film. He looks like him, he sounds like him, and he delivers a performance of Crowe calibre. Worthington is going to make a very comfortable living making films like this for the next decade or two if he so chooses. Jamie Bell continues to choose interesting, mainstream roles as he continues on a career that started extremely young. He impresses as Nick’s younger brother Joey, and his character is perhaps the most interesting in the film. Rounding out the main roles is Elizabeth Banks as the negotiator brought in to talk Nick down. She is very good, in a refreshing female role with much more depth than is to be expected from this genre of film. The only real letdown performance-wise comes from Genesis Rodriguez as Joey’s girlfriend Angie. She tries hard, but unfortunately seems to be from the Megan Fox school of both looks and acting ability.
Man on a Ledge reminds us just how enjoyable a mainstream action flick can be. It is not life changing by any stretch of the imagination. Focusing instead on solid performances, a good story and heart – rather than quips and CGI – proves to be a winning formula.
Man on a Ledge opened theatrically on February 2 through Hoyts.
Tim Hoar writes Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie. You can keep up to date with the blog by liking his Facebook page here.
Oh yes. I’ve watched this film and I find it to be very nice as well. Great review. 🙂
The trailer and your review rocks! I will definitely go and see this movie!
i just watched the movie a while ago, and i have to say it wasnt so awesome, it was just ok really.. i think i went not expecting much either, but was still a little disappointing.. but i loved the ending.. 🙂
I enjoyed the movie, but I found the whole Joey-Angie arc stole much of its strength. I found them annoying…
Fun review — love your “blergs.” 😉
I enjoyed the movie, but I felt the ending wrapped up too neat and tidy. Agreed on the girlfriend missing the mark, although I did appreciate the banter between Joey and her. I would say I liked the movie overall, but I probably wouldn’t watch it again.
My daughter and I LOVED this flick!
We’ll be seeing it again, and that’s a testament to everyone involved, from Worthington to Ed Harris.
Great review, too!
I too have managed to get by without hearing a great deal about this movie, I can happily say that I enjoyed your review very much and am glad to see you enjoyed watching it, I feel I must watch this now…
Looking forward to catching the film soon. Although kids in my life may mean I have to wait for it to come to DVD! Thanks for the review
This is a solid review. I’ve resisted seeing the film so far. I’m surprised you made no mention of Ed Harris, who is always riveting. Even when not trying to, he looks intense. Thanks for the review.
A few observations, if I may: Sam hails from the same town as I, so I am a bit biased when it comes to his movies, but the only reason he sounds a bit like Russell Crow in this flick is because he has a shocking American accent, imho. While I haven’t seen the movie; I found it funny that – in the clip – the SWAT team jump out of the car when the cops et. al. arrive at the scene… to a jumper; I was waiting for Jamie Bell to break out in a series of twisty-turns… alas 🙁
Hah, to my fellow Aussie I agree. Terrible accent and the only thing that really warrants the Crowe comparison. And the SWAT team arriving was hilarious.
I really wish films could produce trailers that didn’t give so much away. I’m assuming there’s more to it, but did we have to be told up front that he wasn’t just a simple jumper?
That’s a very good film, it’s worth seeing
it looks terribly formulaic, so I thoroughly appreciate a review that just seems to convey the films strengths.
Nice review! I am looking forward to this, it looks tense.
Great review! I have seen the trailer for it- and it looks like a goold old fashioned action movie. Sam Worthington- now there’s one to watch out for for the future! Love your blog!
Errm is this similar to The Ledge (www.imdb.com/title/tt1535970) plot wise? I watched the former and was highly impressed despite the moderately budgeted nature.
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OK, I was wondering. Thanks.
Just watched this yesterday! I loved this movie and I agree with what you said here. It had a nice amount of everything – action, romance, and suspense. I think its a great movie to just watch on a saturday night for fun. Definitely not life changing but very exciting 🙂
Great review! Will go watch now and trailer is intriguing. FAnks.
This is really interesting because I had a completely different idea of where i thought this movie was going to go. I will have to see it. You should also review Safe House. I wrote an article about it http://wildbunchadventures.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/safe-house-review/
and it would be interesting of how you view it.
Is it just me or do the trailers for this film give away the bulk of the plot?