For anyone concerned with truth in advertising, Asger Leth’s Man on a Ledge does indeed feature a man on a ledge. The man in question is Sam Worthington — complete with a hideous haircut (honestly, the otter attached to his head gives the film’s best performance) and a dopey, hard-boiled accent — as Nick Cassidy, a former NYPD cop and current escaped convict. By standing on said ledge, Nick plans on proving his innocence once and for all in the most convoluted of ways. The whole plot revolves around some $40 million diamond Nick was convicted of stealing. And since he swears he was set up, his plan is to steal it for real from the smarmy businessman (Ed Harris) who framed him. How this is supposed to prove one’s innocence is beyond me since it doesn’t really prove anything (hey, nice diamond you’ve got there, the one that we already threw you in jail for stealing), but it doesn’t stop the plot from moving forward. So we get Nick standing around on a ledge, distracting everyone while his brother (Jamie Bell) and his brother’s girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez, cast seemingly more for cleavage than talent) break into the bad guy’s vault. Man on a Ledge is a movie that might’ve worked in the hands of a director with a sense of style. Former documentarian Leth is purely a utilitarian director, and his attempts at Larry Cohen-ish social commentary in the form of a sensationalistic news reporter (Kyra Sedgwick) devolves into ham-fistedness and cloying comic relief. As a faded Xerox copy of better movies, Man on a Ledge is 2012’s first truly forgettable movie.
Director: Asger Leth
Writer: Pablo F. Fenjves and Chris Gorak
Producer: Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian
Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Ed Burns, Genesis Rodriguez, Kyra Sedgwick and Ed Harris