Man on a Ledge (2012)

I was skeptical about this little heist flick when I hit PLAY but damn it….it worked for me! Sure, it was far-fetched but at least it was cleverly far-fetched. The movie follows Sam Worthingtons disgraced-but-innocent fugitive ex-cop character as he uses the spectacle of his impending high-dive off the side of a hotel, in downtown New York, to mask the sophisticated robbery that his brother Jamie Bell and his smokin hot latino girlfriend Genesis Rodriguez (reminding me of a sassier, bustier Jordana Brewster) are perpetrating nearby. The cast was more expansive than I was expecting. Edward Burns, Kyra Sedgwick, Elizabeth Banks, a skeletal Ed Harris and the great William Sadler bring life to a roster of admittedly one dimensional characters. One element that definitely springs to mind about this flick is the momentum. When the pace gets moving, it fairly crackles along. Watching the events unfold and how the character dynamics shift as the story plays out made for a genuinely fun movie experience. I love it when a flick gives me characters the clearly have energy between them and Jamie Bell and Genesis Rodiguez NEARLY stole the show with theirs. I found the scenes with them carrying out their Mission-Impossible-like part of the heist entertaing as hell, as the two of them just kept on bickering (amusingly) as they snuck around in the dark. I know…all the potential for THAT to be lame IS there, I admit it. But they pulled it off nicely. It was also refreshing to see a high-tech robbery go down that DIDN’T look as though it had been rehearsed insanely for weeks. What these two thieves lack in grace (a lot) they sure make up for in enthusiasm. Watching them sometimes flail, while still getting the job done, added fuel to the FUN fire.There were a couple things that were just a LITTLE too much though. Like an early sequence involving Worthington, a Jeep Cherokee and a speeding train. Give me a fucking break. Sure, it LOOKED great…but, c’mon! A lot of the story is held together by a healthy dose of coincidence and convenient timing but the presentation was entertaining (more than) enough to easily cast those criticisms off and just go where the flick wanted to (quickly) take me. And poor Sammy Worthington! He gives the ole College Try (again) to that pesky Amurrican-speak (again) but…he…just…can’t…do it. Sure, he emotes decently, but I can always hear that Aussie accent, the one that just won’t be silenced, creeping in there. And it does rob him of some of his acting prowess. Having seen a couple of his Aussie films, I can definitely see the concentration on the accent adding to what is now a slightly unfortunate ‘character trait’, as an actor. That aside, I think he did well here. In fact, the whole movie, as I said, worked. It was a fast paced and smartly laid out…mostly. If you want an exciting and FUN movie that shows you a good time, that doesn’t insult your intelligence TOO much…then Man on a Ledge will work for you. Take the plunge!

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