Monday, 6 January 2014


“Crime butchers innocence to secure a throne, and innocence struggles with all its might against the attempts of crime.” - Maximilien Robespierre

We recently watched a good action thriller, which kept us amused on a rainy afternoon. It was Asger Leth’s 2012 “Man on a Ledge” starring Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris and Genesis Rodriguez. Although there are plot holes in the screenplay by Pablo F. Fenjves, and although the ending is predictable, the movie kept us engaged and there was enough humour interspersed with the action and tension to make it an interesting and enjoyable film.

In Sing Sing prison, Nick Cassidy (Worthington), an ex-cop now a con, is informed that his appeal is denied by the court. When his father dies, Nick receives authorisation to go to the funeral escorted by two policemen. However, he has a fight with his estranged brother Joey Cassidy (Bell) and Nick manages to escape in the scuffle. Nick takes on an assumed identity and becomes a guest on a 21st floor room of the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. After leaving a suicide note protesting his innocence, he climbs onto the building ledge through the room window and threatens to jump off, attracting a crowd on the street below.

The negotiator Lydia Mercer (Banks) is assigned to convince the unknown jumper to give up his intention to commit suicide. Meanwhile Nick’s brother, Joey and his girlfriend Angela Maria ‘Angie’ Lopez (Rodriguez) break into David Englander’s (Harris) office building and the secure safe room to commit a heist. Nick claims innocence to Lydia and asks her to give him more time to prove that he is innocent of the crime he is accused. Lydia believes that Nick is honest and decides to investigate his claims. Meanwhile the special forces are called in to remove Nick off the ledge by force and several police officers become embroiled in what appears to be complicated story. Is Nick innocent or is he in cahoots with his crim brother? Is Nick’s partner cop, Mike (Anthony Mackie) a friend or a foe? Why did Nick choose the Roosevelt Hotel owned by Englander to stage his suicide? Does Nick intend to jump off the ledge at all?

The pace of the film is rapid and there are enough action scenes to keep friends of this genre very happy. There are some plot twists and the flash-backs and flash-forwards are done well, not at all confusingly. The characters and their parts in the plot are revealed as we the movie progresses, with plenty to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat as Nick dangles precariously on his ledge. This is definitely NOT a movie for acrophobics as there many dizzying views of the long way down from the ledge and Nick does slip a few times risking to fall off. The direction is good and the acting also very good.

It is a typical dick-flick, but with a lot of redeeming features. Many critics were rather caustic about this film, including Worthington’s lapse into an Australian accent (which we enjoyed!). The movie does not pretend to be something that it is not, and is thus good entertainment. This is something that the public recognised and the worldwide box-office revenue was a respectable $46 million. It kept us interested and amused and as the story unfolded we chuckled and gasped at the appropriate places.

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