Thriller about an wrongly-accused criminal (Sam Worthington, Avatar) who stands on a high-rise ledge, communicating with a police negotiator (Elizabeth Banks, Catch Me If You Can). Click here for movie times.
Once in a while, a film comes along with exactly the right mixture of energy and amateurishness to promote it from so-bad-it’s-bad status up to so-bad-it’s-good. Displaying the pace, scale and utter witlessness of an early 1990s Arnie movie, Man on a Ledge teeters on that brink.
After breaking out of prison during a faked funeral (surely no mean feat for a publically disgraced policeman) Nick Cassidy (Worthington) checks into New York’s Roosevelt Hotel, eats a symbolic last meal, then climbs out the window and threatens to jump, causing the city to grind to a halt beneath him.
Although it seems like the filmmakers started with the title – or perhaps that dizzying fish-eyed poster – and worked outwards, it’s a work of multiple unlikely plot strands. Cassidy’s Negotiator-style attention-grab is a cover for another, even stupider, stunt, which involves his brother Joey (Bell) and Joey’s girlfriend (Rodriguez) attempting to steal a narratively significant diamond from baddie David Englander (Harris) to clear our hero’s good name.
The fact they’re not even sure of the stone’s whereabouts doesn’t deter them, and why should it? Nobody here seems to know what they’re doing. Elizabeth Banks makes an unlikely hostage expert, Worthington and Bell are difficult to buy as brothers, let alone Americans, and the logic of committing a string of extremely high-profile crimes to prove your innocence is never questioned. For these reasons, and more, Man fails as a big-screen release, but depending on your levels of credulity – and blood alcohol – it might just pass muster as a late-night six-pack flick.