Monday, February 6, 2012


Man On A LedgeAvatar’s leading man, Sam Worthington, plays a former cop in  contemporary New York City in the action/thriller Man On A Ledge for director Asger Leth (that’s not a typo). The difference here is that Worthington’s character Nick Cassidy is now the bad guy and a man on the run. Naturally, being the star, he’s really innocent of the crime he was sent to prison for earlier. He was serving 25 years for allegedly stealing and breaking up a gigantic diamond owned by the nasty Dave Englander ( Ed Harris). Of course, he didn’t really do it and is just the fall guy.

How does he end up on a hotel ledge high up in the sky? He had to escape from prison. How, we don’t know how he managed that feat as we are not told. It seems to have been easy to break out of a federal prison. He must have had a key to the front door. Here’s the kicker. To avoid going back to prison, he must now perform the crime he didn’t commit, to prove he didn’t commit it in the first place! So, naturally, the logical thing to do is crawl out on a ledge and pretend to commit suicide.

Everybody thinks Cassidy might be crazy, so they call out the entire New York Police Force as well as every fire engine from two States around. All Cassidy wants is Police psychologist Elizabeth Banks, because she has a big part in the movie. She can show off her newly  peroxided hair by shaking it in the wind as she sticks her noggin out a window and tries to grab Cassidy. She misses and falls out onto the ledge herself. Clumsy. It’s a good thing the ledge was only three feet off the studio floor or she could have gotten hurt.

In the meantime, Cassidy’s younger brother Joey is usually getting in the way of the investigation with his girlfriend, Genesis Rodriguez (Angie). Now Jamie is a nice man and a good actor, having proved that when he was 13 and made the smash hit dance film Billy Elliot. But the slight and slim guy in no way looks like he could be a brother to the robustly built, tank-like Worthington. No matter, Joey serves to divert the police while he is crawling through the air shafts on his way to the bank vault that holds the diamond. Only in movies are there giant air shafts that lead directly to the strategic locations that need to be found. The architects are geniuses and need to be given credit here because nobody else will make note of them.

Gosh, there’s a lot of action, even with the star clinging to a ledge. There’s no way he could have stuck to the side of the building without dipping his fingers in Gorilla Glue. Wonderful product. He does manage to fool the police, who are now after him with SWAT teams flying off the building with wires. He hitches a ride with one of them and I swear, they do a circus aerial act that rivals the Ringling Bros. clowns. Your heart will be in your mouth instead of the popcorn.

Edward Burns is in for almost a cameo part as he is on screen for about two minutes, just enough time to earn his points for his retirement check as required by his union. Anthony Mackie doesn’t get much more time, but at least he manages to get shot and all bloody in a gesture to prove he is still a good partner to Cassidy. There was no romance between them, so he had to prove his loyalty by a more masculine act. Then they carted him off the set on a stretcher and he went home.

But you can stay for the end of the picture and applaud Worthington and all the rest of the hard-working actors. It’s not easy to get shot all day long and still look handsome or pretty. Both Worthington and Banks manage to still look like stars after all that battering. Summit Entertainment/ De Bonaventura Pictures.

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