There are generally two kinds of movies. One is that which will entertain to the best that lacks a strong plot and great lead cast. Another is one with, a good plot and some terrific lead roles. Man on a ledge nearly made its pavement to make a gripping thriller, but just lost itself with too many characters and quick paced action. The plot totally was on diamond heist. Generally heist movies are considered to be thrilling due to set pieces and new mechanic abilities with various techniques of stealing. Gadgets involved in such kind of movies are always cool enough. But in man on a ledge, there are no attractive gadgets and neither attractive set pieces to build up a perfect heist movie. There are no awe moments in the movie except one single jump scene from adjacent building. Asger leth who is not so famous onto the silver screen has taken up this movie. He is not much experienced as, Justin Lin (Fast Five), Steven Soderberg (Ocean’s Eleven). Man on a ledge is not equal to top heist movies I have seen. It has a heist plot runs well with the same notion, but suddenly changes and turns into a different angle. The last ten minutes of the movie is totally chaos and nothing is really hardly believable.
The plot begins with Nick Cassidy an ex convict who enters Roosevelt hotel, and decides to jump off the ledge from his room if he does not meet detective Marcia. We get to a small flashback of him escaping from prison and then the movie goes on with him struggling on the ledge to make the jump he is waiting for. Police recognize this as some sort of distraction and they find his real identity. Detective Marcia tries to help Nick, meanwhile Nick has his own plans. He arranges his team exactly in the opposite building where a big diamond heist is planned. All the police are seeing him, whereas the heist is going there. This is called a perfect plan according to Nick Cassidy. Will he able to steal the diamond by guiding his team from ledge or fall into trouble? Sam Worthington plays an ex-cop and escaped convict Nick Cassidy. One question in my mind is why to choose Sam Worthington. Probably he has been experienced before to perform cop roles. But he is standing on a ledge watching new york city. There are better people who can do this role of standing on the ledge. The biggest fault of this movie, is that the lead cast is just standing on the ledge whereas side kicks are busy doing the heist. Jamie Bell should have done the ledge part and Sam should have been in the heist job. Rather he is just an instructor via microphone on the other hand threatening the public and police that he would jump. Elizabeth Banks performs as detective Marcia. She has done a lot like this before and again she jumps up into the role with ease. Jamie Bell has the better role performing as Joe Cassidy than Sam Worthington because he has the main task to accomplish, to perform the heist. Genesis Rodriguez performs love interest and assistant of Joe who does a lot of work than him during the heist process. Ed Harris performs the role of an investor and he is the one who has the diamonds locked in the tightly secured room. Not much more of him in the movie. Let me remind that he was three time oscar nominated, and the role he performed in here is more of a cameo and any one would have been fit.
With a run time of 102 minutes, man on a ledge holds the pace and grip exciting and thrilling till sixty minutes. But the last half falters due to fast paced narration and too many characters involved and in the mean time ledge jumping act by Sam Worthington. Climax is somewhat predictable because every such movies have a happy ending, but the way it ended lacked clarity and I thought it needed more depth.
Character development was weak. Sam Worthington is the poor choice for the role. Just because he has done some successful movies before, it does not mean to waste such a great talented actor to stand on a ledge and distract the cops and let someone do the heist. Jamie Bell is the happiest person, because he had a chance to enter the vault and do the heist. Genesis Rodriguez a small time television actor, has also been given an important role to assist Jamie Bell, in performing the heist. Anthony Mackie gets a small role as friend of Nick Cassidy who was with him five years in the job. Ed Harris is an immense talent who got wasted. Elizabeth Banks is so famous for donning detective roles and she has once again delivered her stamina in it. But the plot is very thin lined so not much to discover and prove herself as a better detective.
Finally with a new director Asger Leth, on board and producer Lorenzo Bonaventura who has no chance to invest much in this ledge movie, man on a ledge concludes as a normal heist movie with no awe moments and no sudden surprises. It lacks a strong cohesive plot and Sam Worthington could not do much rather standing on the ledge and getting ready to jump. Man on a ledge is not a popcorn entertainer and neither a perfect thriller. It fails to make its mark and finally register itself as mediocre.
HAVE HAD ONE’S CHIPS