Cinema with Sharlette: 'Man on a Ledge'

by Sharlette Hambrick 10:53 AM PST, January 26, 2012
Photo: Summit Entertainment

It’s movies like Man on a Ledge that make you question, how far would you go to prove your innocence? Or what if the accused person was a friend; could you pass the ultimate test of loyalty?

Sam Worthington plays ex-cop Nick Cassidy, a man accused of stealing from high powered business man David Englander, played by Ed Harris, in New York City. He finally goes off the edge when he learns of his father’s death and, as a former cop, could face more than twenty years at Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Worthington makes an escape and displays his urgent desperation by attracting crowds and mass media attention in a suicide standoff.

Elizabeth Banks plays negotiating officer Lydia Mercer. Banks’ character battles with her own conscience and her doubting colleagues as she attempts to keep order and save a man’s life.

We definitely get a fun and topical, popcorn flick from Director Asger Leth and writer Pablo Fenjves. It has bombs, actual cop lingo (Man on a Ledge), bad guys, fight scenes and money. This Action/Thriller will not disappoint. But what’s a little different about Man on a Ledge is that the main character spends most of his time…well… on a ledge.

We get a chance to see Worthington without the support of special effects (Avatar, Terminator Salvation), and likewise a dramatic change for Banks, aside from her usual funny girl roles (Scrubs, Role Models). The two give believable performances, keeping the audience pulling for the underdogs. The film manages a rapid pace, especially the scenes featuring actor Jamie Bell who plays Worthington’s brother, Joey Cassidy. A departure from his most popular portrayal of Billy Elliot, Bell, along with his girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez), play clever, trash talkin’ thieves. They attempt a sophisticated heist, reminiscent to movie favorites like the Ocean’s franchise.

Newcomer and scene stealer, Rodriguez is a standout. Her portrayal of the intelligent, sassy accomplice gives more depth to just the sidekick. She plays a crucial role in all aspects of the heist leaving no question that she can play with the boys and still be gorgeous. Look for her opposite Will Ferrell in the upcoming comedy, Casa de mi Padre.

The cast of Man on a Ledge also features Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), as ex-partner to Worthington. Titus Welliver (The Good Wife), plays an excellent villain alongside Harris and The Closer’s Kyra Sedwick as overly tenacious news reporter, Suzie Morales.

An interesting plot and unique casting makes Man on a Ledge guaranteed to push your adrenaline to the max.