Man on a Ledge | Film review
What’s Sam Worthington doing up on that ledge? The answer is more ludicrous than you might think.
Acting against green screens has taught Sam Worthington how to stare convincingly into a void, though the vertigo-inducing abyss he stands before in Man on a Ledge is no CGI illusion. The ex–Avatar grunt stars as a mystery man who positions himself on the business side of a skyscraper window, just like the poor schmuck in last year’s The Ledge. Dragged to the scene once the media circus rolls in, a police negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) has a hunch that her jumper doesn’t actually plan to jump. If not, what’s he really doing up there? The answer proves more elaborate (and preposterous) than you might imagine. It’d be unfair to reveal much else, except that the plan somehow revolves around a billionaire mogul (Ed Harris) with a taste for expensive diamonds.
For a while, there’s dumb fun to be had. Man on a Ledge is simultaneously a wrong-man thriller, a heist movie and a down-with-the-fat-cats crowd-pleaser rolled into one. Yet as director Asger Leth crosscuts nimbly between Worthington’s high-altitude plight and the Mission: Impossible–style high jinks of a pair of kissing cat burglars (Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodriguez, a sassier Jordana Brewster), the movie succumbs to its numerous contrivances. Trusting an action drone like Worthington to anchor the human drama is a fatal mistake. With him perched on that narrow slab of concrete, it’s only a matter of time before the film plummets.