Francesca Rudkin is an entertainment reviewer for NZ Herald.

Movie review: Man on a Ledge (+trailer)

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Sam Worthington as Nick Cassidy in the movie Man on a Ledge. Photo / Supplied
Sam Worthington as Nick Cassidy in the movie Man on a Ledge. Photo / Supplied

The title pretty much sums up this thriller, with Avatar actor Sam Worthington stuck on the ledge of a high-rise New York hotel for the majority of the film.

Nick Cassidy (Worthington) is a wrongly convicted ex-cop desperate to clear his name of the theft that put him in prison. First time feature director Asger Leth doesn't muck about, launching straight into busting Cassidy out of prison, checking him into Manhattan's Roosevelt Hotel and sending him out on the ledge.

After getting the attention of police Cassidy asks for NYPD negotiator Lydia Mercer (Banks) to be brought in to talk him down. It's the first indication he's no ordinary "jumper" but rather a man with an ulterior motive; one that involves the biggest diamond heist of all time.

At this point it's best to leave reality and logic behind as Leth takes us on a rocky ride lurching from genuine tension to predictable and implausible plot twists and turns. Worthington looks suitably terrified by his decision to prove his innocence from a windowsill on the 21st floor, but his performance is limited by his location and it's up to his co-stars to inject some energy.

And it's an impressive line-up of supporting actors who come to his aid; Jamie Bell plays Cassidy's brother (neither sibling is totally convincing as a New Jersey native), Edward Norton and Kyra Sedgwick are underused as a cop and television reporter respectively, and Ed Harris steps into the role of greedy capitalist.

Not even this cast can quite bring together what is a mish-mash of heist and cop cliches. Man on a Ledge certainly has it's moments and if you don't take it seriously it's good B-grade fun, but considering the calibre of cast and its novel idea it doesn't live up to its potential.

Stars: 3/5
Cast: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks
Director: Asger Leth
Running time: 102 mins
Rating: M (contains violence and offensive language)
Verdict: A missed opportunity.


- NZ Herald

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