I’ve wanted to give Summit Entertainment the benefit of the doubt, but the studio can’t seem to release worthy genre films. ‘Source Code‘ and ‘50/50‘ seem to be flukes in an otherwise crappy track record. For each good release, we get a ‘Twilight‘, a ‘Push‘ and a ‘Furry Vengeance‘. I had hoped that ‘Man on a Ledge’ would be one of Summit’s rare goodies, but it ended up being garbage – just like the studio’s last release, ‘The Darkest Hour’.
Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) won’t come down from the ledge of a New York City skyscraper. Although the police believe that he’s eventually going to jump, we know that this is really just a distraction. You see, Nick has just escaped from prison. Formerly a police officer, he was arrested for a crime that he didn’t commit. A crooked tycoon (Ed Harris) set him up as the fall-guy for a $40 million diamond heist. While the police and the whole city wait to see him hit the ground, his brother (Jamie Bell) and soon-to-be sister-in-law (Genesis Rodriguez) heist it up in a building across the street. Their plan is to steal the $40 million diamond from the tycoon and reveal him as a fraud, thus proving Nick’s innocence along the way.
All of this info is given in the trailer to the film, yet when you watch the movie, it takes its sweet time spelling out what you already know. Loads of needless filler clog this simple story, making the first half feel like a never-ending cut of the trailer. What doesn’t come across in the trailer is the wacky tone of the movie.
The Bell and Rodriguez characters act as if they’re appearing in a completely different movie from the rest of the cast. They’re quirky, snappy and corny, as if they’re in a cheesy Katherine Heigl romantic comedy. Everyone else (Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Anthony Mackie, Edward Burns and Titus Welliver) act like they’re doing a Scorsese flick.
Yet the conflicting tones aren’t even the worst part of the film. The movie has so many gaping holes in logic that nothing really makes any sense in the end. It’s unclear as to which cops are crooked and which aren’t (I’m keeping it vague). And to top it off, it turns completely silly. ‘Man on a Ledge’ is a sloppy joke of a film.
If you’ve seen ‘The Fugitive‘, ‘Enemy of the State‘, ‘Mission: Impossible‘ and ‘Mission: Impossible III‘, then you’ve already seen four of the better-than-‘Man on a Ledge’ movies that ‘Man on a Ledge’ constantly rips off. Trust me, skip this turd.