Sunday, 27 May 2012

Review: Man on a Ledge

Year: 2012
Director: Asger Leth
Screenplay: Pablo Fenjves
Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Edward Burns, Ed Harris.

Synopsis is here

I'm getting more and more frustrated at the fact that Anthony Mackie cannot get a decent leading gig while Sam Worthington is centre stage on a whole range of sub-standard thrillers and blockbusters. I blame James Cameron.

I apologise for being a little harsh on Mr Worthington, as in all honestly he appears to be a genuine guy. He's probably a real gentlemen. Unfortunately, despite the spunk he's has brought to roles, he hasn't built upon his coming out party in Avatar. But then again, things may change, if he was given a screenplay that's worthwhile.

While trying to keep a grip on his Australian accent (he is meant to be from New York here), he also has to struggle on with a screenplay which, is only too quick to trot out tried and tested and tried tropes at a drop of a dime. Look! There's the cop with the troubled past! Hey, there's an unscrupulous reporter whose only too quick to back stab or bet on a good story! I'm not sure about that character! He seems way too trusting...lets hope the script surprises! doesn't.

I'm sure I've bemoaned all this before on this site. It's no way a problem to use such common devices. However, if a film is lazy in it's execution of such things, then it will not generate any excitement. Man on a Ledge slapped me round the chops with dull, generic plot, sprinkles warmed over dialogue over nearly every scene and did nothing to make me interested in it's main conceit. Even the themes that are underlined within the plot are haphazardly shoehorned in. We have moments, which touch upon media hysteria and the 2008 economic crash, however, the film wishes to plod on with it's charmless heist and waste decent character actors (Banks, Mackie, Bell, the dude that was awesome in The Mist). It's an Oceans movie without the smugness, but also without the wit, style or sense of fun.

The main problem however, is I was never on that ledge with Nick. The film doesn't try hard enough to put you in the world. Yes, there's a man on the ledge, and yes there's an area of wish-fulfilment (look at the little man sticking it to the white collar wall street) that could be indulged, but the film never reaches that level of escapism. Here Worthington isn't convincing enough, and the likes of Ed Burns and Ed Harris just don't seem to care enough. The script drops clunky dialogue on a regular basis. It's great to see Genesis Rodriguez strip down to a matching pink bra and panty combo when but her performance sticks out like a sore thumb, you realise how pointless that moment really is.

If there's one thing nice to say abut Man on the Ledge, it will be that at least it looks great on blu-ray. A line like that allows me to make a dumb joke about polishing a turd, but much like the film, such a joke would provide me with little satisfaction.