Man on a Ledge - Review

"Man on a Ledge" is probably the first movie this year that i felt was pretty much sneaking its way into theaters. I only noticed it a few days before its release. With a trailer that does probably everything wrong that's possible by revealing way too much of the movie's plot and twists, i was pretty worried, but i didn't want to be too harsh with "Man on a Ledge" before i actually saw it. Overall, it looked like a solid thriller with the likable Sam Worthington in the lead. So i thought i give it a chance.

As a police psychologist (Elizabeth Banks) works to talk down an ex-con (Sam Worthington) who is threatening to jump from a Manhattan hotel rooftop, the biggest diamond heist ever committed is in motion. (source: IMDb)

As i already said, the film's biggest problem is that it shot itself in the knee right from the start. The premise of a suicidal man about to jump off a building but who REALLY IS A DECOY FOR AN ACTUAL HEIST should have never been revealed in the trailer or even at least till the last half of the movie. But that's exactly what "Man on a Ledge" does. It kills every single drop of suspense or tension that could have been.
"Man on a Ledge" has a similar premise to the Colin Farrell movie "Phone Booth", but obviously didn't learn anything from that far superior thriller or understood why that one worked.

However, another problem is that the movie tends to lose focus on the main plot. While the first half of the movie tries to give a good backstory and introduce us to the several plotlines, they are mixed in with out-of-nowhere stupid action scenes. About halfway through the movie, all the different plotlines and subplots somehow get thrown together, so that the story gets so convoluted that you don't even understand the main characters' goals anymore.

But the pseudo-tension ultimately crumbles when the pseudo-suspense part of the movie meets the heist movie part. Meaning that all the possible tension gets thrown out of the window. Right from the start you know that Worthington never was and is in any danger whatsoever and that he definitely won't jump...making you ask yourself what exactly the "thrill" is about this thriller. But that would have been ok, if the heist part was actually exciting enough...sadly it isn't.

Oh and another thing: There is lazy writing and then there is insulting my fucking intelligence: everybody in the right mind knows that no police department would just let a man sit around on a ledge for so long (they are even giving him stuff to eat while he stands there! -.- yes that happens in the movie).

The acting is probably some of the most uninspired i have seen for a long time. While Sam Worthington still is one of the most sympathetic actors around in my opinion, this is probably the weakest performance from him. He is probably the worst suicidal person i have seen thus far in any movie (even if he's only pretending). The lawyer from "Scrubs" is an even more convincing suicidal character than him! Worthington's performance is just as halfhearted as almost about 90% of all the performances. The entire cast's acting is either over-played or under-played, which brings me to the next negative aspect:
Most notably the entire police consists out of idiots. They contribute to NOTHING! That's more a problem with the script than with the acting, but still, those cops and especially Elizabeth Banks as a PSYCHOLOGIST must be braindead for not being able to figure out that Sam Worthington is (SO OBVIOUSLY!!!) a decoy and won't jump. HELL, even when she DOES figure it out, she still doesn't immediately give orders to just go get him!
Furthermore, there are actors like Ed Harris who are totally wasted and far not taken enough advantage of.

It only goes to show, that all the uninspired performances are underlined by a poorly written script with pretty clichee dialogue, that you heard a dozen times from other thrillers.

All in all, i want to ask you something: Remember "Phone Booth" and how the tension started rising to incredible heights in a matter of seconds from the very moment Farrell entered the booth? Yes? Well, "Man on a Ledge" doesn't even REMOTELY have something like this. It doesn't even have any kind of tension in any way. The movie would have done a far better job, if it wasn't revealed until the very end that Worthington was just a decoy, if the script wasn't written by a chimpanzee and if the actors weren't acting as if they just woke up. "Man on a Ledge" is a prime example of a forgettable time-killing thriller without any tension or thrills. This flick is just another bigger reason to watch "Phone Booth" again. Don't waste your time on "Man on a Ledge".

Final Verdict: 2 out of 10


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