Posted May 31, 2012 by Alex Moss Editor in DVD/Blu-ray
 
 

Man On A Ledge DVD


Man On A Ledge is fun thriller which manages to inject enough humour to not take itself too seriously.

Man On A Ledge
is fun thriller which manages to inject enough humour to not take itself too
seriously.

Alfred Hitchcock was
the master of suspense. A
filmmaker who could weave a tale in such a way you were pinned to the edge of
your seat with excitement, anticipation and a longing for the mystery to
unravel. We’ve been inundated with
films trying to emulate Hitch but rarely do they capture that sense of
thrilling fun. It wasn’t just the
mystery that worked so well in Hitchcock’s films, but also the simple enjoyment
one took from them, Rear Window has
wonderful banter between Jimmy Stewart
and Grace Kelly, Psycho may be terrifying but there is
something endearing about the mild natured Anthony
Perkins
turning out to be more than just the humble motel manager. In other words Hitch knew how to
balance a good yarn with enough intrigue while never losing site of the fun to
be had from the characters on offer.
Man On A Ledge certainly doesn’t soar to such heights, but it is made thoroughly
enjoyable by some fun characters.

Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an ex-con with nothing to
lose. Claiming to have been framed
by scheming millionaire David Englander (Ed Harris), Nick finds himself on the
ledge of a Manhattan hotel and ready to jump. Trying to talk him down is troubled police psychologist
Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) who soon realises there is more to Nick’s
predicament than meets the eye.
While Nick holds the city’s attention his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and
girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) are secretly plotting a way to clear
Nick’s name.

Like Hitch, Man On A Ledge doesn’t try to pull a M. Night
Shyamalan Sixth Sense
style rug pull on you. Instead it gently moves the rug with you happily along for
the ride, carefully guessing the next reveal. Part of the fun of these films is being slowly drip fed
information that allows you to reach the ‘twist’ before it is eventually
revealed. That’s not to say Man On
A Ledge is easy to guess by any stretch but it carefully plants devices, and
more importantly familiar faces, allowing you to know that at some point
certain things are going to become all the more important than first
appearances.

Considering this is director Asger Leth’s feature narrative
debut (he has made documentaries up till this point) Man On A Ledge is a solid
jumping off point. He handles the
action well, allows the thriller aspects to have you on the edge of your seat
and more than everything isn’t afraid to let his audience enjoy
themselves. Given the subject
matter of the film, you know guy about to jump off a building and go splat, it
would be easy to shoot the film with a dark David Fincher-esque edge to
proceedings, but instead he allows it to be lighter and more entertaining. In particular the relationship between
Joey and Angie is what really holds the film together. A bickering couple who despite the
high-stakes game of cat and mouse they’re playing still find time to both love
and feud with each other in wonderfully comedic and familiar ways.

Their relationship is the highlight of the film thanks to Bell
and Rodriguez’s performances. Bell
has proved himself adapt at almost every genre going since he danced onto the
scene with Billy Elliot. Here he’s
got a naïve cockiness about him.
He’s that cheeky chappy who, if he wasn’t so damn funny and loyal to
boot, you’d probably want to smack.
Rodriguez meanwhile brings a great level of latino sass to the
film. Admittedly she is asked to
spend much of the time in a push-up bra and tight jeans, in other words clearly
eye-candy, but unlike say a Megan Fox she’s more than just a pair of
boobs. This girl doesn’t just run
around screaming and looking pretty, she’s more than happy to stand up to the
boys and if anything give them a good run for their money. Worthington does his normal thing of
being chiseled but forgettable, although he does a fine job of being the
straight guy to more interesting things going on around him. Banks is always a, excuse the pun,
bankable actress and here brings a nice level of Sam Jackson come Kevin Spacey
like The Negotiator quality to her
role. She’s smarter than she lets
on and in Banks’ hands you always know that.

Man On A Ledge does more than what it says on the tin. It’s a fun, thrilling little gem which
will keep you smiling and guessing right up to the final credits. Go on, jump.


Alex Moss Editor

 
Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com