Starring Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell & Elizabeth Banks
Directed by Asger Leth
That sound you hear across the city of Toronto is the movie theatres and Cineplex’s changing their posters and marquees updating them with the latest and greatest new releases that the world of cinema has to offer. Out today from our friends at eOne films is an action thriller about a man on a mission to prove his innocence. Get ready for “Man On A Ledge”.
“Man On A Ledge” is the story of Nick Cassidy (Worthington) who makes a desperate and life-threatening move to prove his innocence after he is framed for the theft of a rare, prized diamond. Recently escaped from prison and with nowhere else to go, Nick climbs onto the ledge of a towering skyscraper, inviting the eyes of New York City to anxiously watch as one wrong step could mean plunging to his death. But as one police negotiator (Banks) soon learns, Nick’s daredevil stunt, captivating the eyes of the public and media, masks a dangerous ploy to reveal the truth about his tarnished name. With the help of his brother (Bell) and with time running out, Nick’s intricate plan must work perfectly, but when you’re on the 25th floor ledge of a building, going down takes on an entirely more hair-raising meaning.
In his feature fictional film debut, director Asger Leth has put together a tight thriller that while rooted in something realistic veers off towards the absurd fairly quickly. With minimal set-up we go fairly quickly to our titular “Man On A Ledge” and the characters and sub plot come at the viewer at a fast and furious pace that it actually gets a little dizzying. Despite its quick decent into absurdity, the script from Pablo F. Fenjves is actually quite smart because it doesn’t take itself far too seriously and uses well placed moments of humor to remind the viewer that this is actually supposed to be a fair bit of fun. Leth never forgets that the primary purpose of the story is to entertain its audience and he does so with great skill and some excellent casting.
Out of the entire cast, the only one who doesn’t seem to be in on the inherent fun of the story is our lead Sam Worthington. His performance comes off as if he is taking the film a little too seriously but by the end he embraces the fun. The rest of cast which is basically an all-star lineup of B-Movie All Stars including Elizabeth Banks and Edward Burns as the cops trying to get him off the ledge, Ed Harris as the millionaire bad guy chewing the scenery around him, Kyra Sedgwick as the bombastic tabloid reporter and Jamie Bell as his brother all have a great deal of fun with their respective roles and only add to the board line ‘Grindhouse’ experience that this thriller creates. Bell and Worthington; a Brit and an Aussie raised Brit respectively, don’t even put a great deal of effort into hiding their accents but after awhile with the thrilling ride that we are taken on; you the viewer will barely notice.
Hard to believe that this is a film that will have you applauding with gleeful laughter by the end of it all, but “Man On A Ledge” is a thrill ride of a movie that simply requires you to check any notions of logic or sense at the door and simply go with it. It’s not a good or a bad movie, but it is a hell of a lot of fun.
3 out of 5 stars.
“Man On A Ledge” opens today at theatres across Toronto; click here for a list of show times near you.
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