If the movie Man On A Ledge starring Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Génesis Rodriguez, Edward Burns, Anthony Mackie, Titus Welliver and Ed Harris were a real person on a ledge, you would be rooting for it to jump.
This film is built on some sort of big reveal because we know that we are not going to see Lydia (Banks) trying to talk Nick (Worthington) down for the entire 102 minutes. Nick asks for Lydia by name and the only discernible reason we are given for that is that she really cares. That is weak because if him being on the ledge is simply a diversion anyway, which it is, it really should not matter who the Police send up to talk him down anyway.
Of course we have the obligatory female cop fighting her coworkers and superiors for respect despite the fact that she is very accomplished at what she does (from what we are told, not from what we see). This was completely unnecessary and added nothing to the film. Banks does not have a lot of credibility in this role to start with so to have her character being questioned on screen as well certainly didn’t help matters.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the movie was Edward Burns’s performance as Jack Dougherty, basically the first responder on the scene who is usurped by Lydia. His lines were so horrible and horribly delivered that it leaves you wondering if he is doing it on purpose (being bad) or if it is just a bad performance. He reminds you of an actor in a movie or TV show who is practicing to play a cop in a part or role.
Nick’s brother Joey (Bell) and his smoking hot girlfriend Angie (Rodriguez) provide some comic relief as bumbling keystone robbers who manage to pull off their job, just with a lot of mess ups but mysteriously no evidence left behind. There is a scene when Angie is in a beautiful Pink bra and panty set that almost earns the film an additional star.
They are taking orders from Nick via an earpiece in Nick’s ear that takes any sort of decent cop way too long to notice. There were times when Nick was actually talking to his brother but Lydia thought he was talking to her. This didn’t come across as clever, just stupid. Why is Nick and Company trying to steal from wealthy real estate mogul David Englander (Harris)? No spoilers here folks, you have to find that gem out for yourselves!
Then there is the tough talking, ass chewing out man in charge, Nathan Marcus (Welliver) who only seems to care about sending Tactical in and won’t be happy until he does.
Also, Anthony Mackie is a fairly good actor and they really didn’t do anything with him in this film. They tried to introduce him into the storyline but his character’s place in the story was a weak if not weaker than everyone else’s and they completely underutilized his talents as an actor.
The only really redeeming parts of the film are its pacing. The acting is uninspired, the major reveal is senseless and will leave you scratching your head wondering if that could really be the plot they are trying to sell you, but the pacing is decent. Unfortunately, it is really the only thing that was decent about Man On A Ledge. It won’t win any awards but somehow will keep your attention.
Based out of 5 stars, this film gets 2.5. This film wouldn’t be bad to catch at the cheap show or put into your Netflix rotation, but it certainly is not worth full price and realistically not really worth a $5 matinee either.