Monday, April 9, 2012

Man on a Ledge - Movie Review

Saw this at the $2 theater.

Starring Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Anthony Mackie, Edward Burns, Genesis Rodriguez, Titus Welliver, Kyra Sedgwick and William Sadler.
Directed by Asger Leth.


This movie thinks itself clever, but it reminded of that old "If I Was An Evil Overlord" list, where one of the items was sojmething to the effect of "Hire a 5-year-old boy as my advisor. If he sees any flaws in any of my plans, correct them at once."

This movie, in its setup, violates that rule. We see the Man (Sam Worthington) got into a hotel and eat a fine meal. He then wipes anything he touched of fingerprints. Then he goes to the window, opens it, and climbs out on to the ledge. And my wife and I turned to each other and said, "What about his prints on the window frame?"

But later on, the "lab" couldn't find a single print in the room. Apparently they just assumed there wouldn't be in prints on the window he just crawled out of.

This is one of those grimy early-year thrillers that feels like it was made to be subtitled and played throughout Europe. The Man, named Nick, was once wrongly jailed for stealing a diamond from an evil businessman (Ed Harris, looking skeletal). Now he's on the ledge of a 21-story building, and he's willing to jump, but it's really a big distraction while his brother and girlfriend break into Evil Businessman's offices and crack his safe where the dimaond's been hidden the whole time.

The preview gave most of the movie away, so I had to wait patiently for it to get to the point where I didn't know what was next. The "twists" it has are all telegraphed, sometimes just by the very casting of a person ("Oh, that guy. He's always a bad guy"), other times it requires gigantic leaps of logic, but we know it's going to happen anyway because that's just the type of movie this is. And the final twists makes everything fall apart, although the movie doesn't think so.

It's interesting enough while it's happening, but the screenplay's half-baked, and Worthington's American accent seems to get worse in every movie he sports it. There's just way too many contrivances and coincidences to be able to recommend it.

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