While Clint’s prepping for his big movie premiere at the new Bev, another Aussie, Sam Worthington, is itching for people to see his. Movie.
Here’s Ashley and Mike’s look at “Man on a Ledge” which, before reading the two reviews, I was intrigued to see. Maybe I still am. From what I can gather, there’s a good idea here but it’s ruined by a predictable, cliche-ridden script and, once again, an abysmal attempt at an American accent by Worthington.
Here’s our LA correspondents with their reviews :
Mike says : Life isn’t going well for Nick Cassidy (Worthington). A former cop currently serving 25 years in prison for theft, Nick must deal with the constant beatings his fellow inmates dish out and the fact that his father is dying. Nick claims he’s innocent, of course. And if can find a way out he’d be happy to prove it. If only… Formulaic to the point of boredom, “Man on a Ledge” is a ho-hum case of “Crime Caper 101” with a few decent set pieces to keep your attention. The blame here clearly rests on the shoulders of screenwriter Pablo Fenjves, whose previous claim to fame was having the misfortune of living next door to Nicole Brown Simpson the night O.J. came to call. After a string of television projects this is Fenjves’ first feature film and the script is cobbled together from the best (and worst) parts of every heist film ever made. Let me run down the checklist:
1. Fake security guards by putting a still photo in front of a video camera. Check
2. People who have no business being able to hack computers and repel down walls but manage to do it effortlessly. Check.
3. Really hot chick who can do all of the above but for some reason buys her clothes two sizes too small. Check.
4. Same girl removes said clothes in the middle of the film to reveal even smaller undergarments. Check.
And the list goes on.
The cast tries hard to convince you they care. Worthington is likable as Nick. As the police expert that is called in to talk to Nick once he becomes the title character, Banks is sharp. She’s carrying some emotional baggage from a previous case and Banks wrestles with that baggage well. Ed Harris shows up to chew some scenery as “the bad guy,” obviously having fun with the role. Jamie Bell as Nick’s brother, Joey and Genesis Rodriguez as his girl, Angie, have some chemistry and some cute back and forth banter. Which reminds me:
5. Cute back and forth banter between boyfriend/girlfriend crooks. Check.
The only casting miscue arrives on screen when Kyra Sedgwick, her southern accent as thick as molasses, announces herself as television reporter Rosie Morales!
This is director Leth’s first feature and he shows some talent behind the camera. Hopefully he’ll try something more original for his sophomore effort.
Ashley says : There are hundreds, if not thousands of struggling actors in Hollywood. Many would be great action stars – but directors seem drawn to Sam Worthington (”Avatar”), perhaps because of his looks, his charm and his ability to play action hero. Though Worthington gives the best performance of his career thus far in ”Man On A Ledge”, his accent takes away from his efforts and from the film.
Worthington stars as Nick Cassidy, an NYPD officer turned convicted criminal. In a desperate attempt to clear his name, he enlists the help of his brother Joey (Jamie Bell, ”The Adventures of Tintin”) and Joey’s girlfriend Angie (played by sexy and talented Genesis Rodriguez, ”Casa di mi Padre”). They attempt to prove that dirty cops and David Englander, an evil white-collar millionaire played deftly by Ed Harris (”Gone Baby Gone”), framed Cassidy. Thrown in the mix to get Cassidy off the ledge is NYPD negotiator Lydia Mercer (played by Chelsea Handler look-a-like Elizabeth Banks) who is the only one Cassidy can trust to help him clear his name. The plot is unoriginal but takes fun twists and turns through skillful direction by documentary filmmaker Asger Leth and editing by Kevin Stitt (Cloverfield). New York City serves as a fun backdrop for the film and is a character in itself with a rowdy crowd treating the possible jump as a spectator sport. Kyra Sedgwick also brings some levity to the film as reporter Suzie Morales, who serves her purpose by helping turn the situation into a carnival. Rodriguez and Banks give great performances as their characters take the lead in helping Cassidy. Supporting cast includes Edward Burns and Anthony Mackie, both do a nice job with their one dimensional characters.
Thankfully, Worthington isn’t in as many scenes as one might think the star of a film would be in. Back to the hundreds/thousands of struggling actors comment, many of said actors put money into hiring a dialect coach. Nothing wrong with an accent – accents are great! However, if you’re playing a character that has family based on the East coast, you should probably sound like you’re from the East coast. This is a constant issue with Worthington’s performances; his accent is always present regardless of where his character is from. Take your millions and hire a good dialect coach.
Between the predictable story and Worthington, the film is taken down a notch. It echoes the Occupy Wall Street movement, which is a nice touch, with the class war at the center of the film as Cassidy battles Englander. It’s worth seeing if you’re looking for a fun action film that doesn’t make you think or if you’re a fan of the stars.