Man on a Ledge
Reason for the Rating: For violence and brief strong language.
Plot Summary: An ex-cop, accused of stealing a diamond, distracts New York City and its police force by standing on a ledge while his brother attempts to prove his innocence
PopFam Recommends: Interesting...but not compelling. Best as a rental.
If you are at all confused as to what this movie is about, you haven't seen the trailer. No, it's not about a man on an emotional ledge who's on the verge of teetering off, but it is about a man on an actual ledge who is threatening to jump. The whole movie he's on the ledge...and this is an action movie. Huh?
Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is an ex-cop who is serving a prison term for stealing a humongous diamond and cutting it into a million pieces. In other words, he was accused, but the diamond was never found. Let out for a day to attend his father's funeral, Nick escapes custody and ends up in a Manhattan hotel where he eats breakfast and heads out to the ledge. Upon his request, the police send in Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), a negotiator who has a scarred record. So, where's the action? Well, while Nick and Lydia are discussing various topics, Nick's brother, Joey (Jamie Bell) and Joey's girlfriend, Angie (Genesis Rodriquez) are across the street breaking into a vault where they assume the aforementioned diamond is being hidden by its owner, David Englander (Ed Harris).
The thing with the movie, is that we know Nick isn't going to jump or happen to fall off (at least not until the end), so the only building suspense is if Joey and Angie will get caught. And while these amateur thieves move through air ducts and break through walls, the most suspenseful aspect of the movie plays out...will they just stop bickering and get on with it?! It seems like an odd time and place to work out the kinks in a relationship, but the squabbling is used not only as comedic relief but to draw the audience in. We want them to succeed, not only because they are trying to right a wrong, but because they are just so full of life. Not like that David Englander, who's just full of greed and evil.
Man on a Ledge has many elements to make it a successful movie, but it was also lacking some essential pieces of the puzzle. One is not using Sam Worthington enough. We see him a lot on the ledge, and for a few minutes in the back story, but we hear more of Nick's story than we see, resulting in a less impactful emotional connection. Additionally, the ending is more like a t.v. crime show (think Law and Order or NCIS) than a major motion picture. A bit disappointing after all that hype. Which is why I say, save it for video night. It's perfect for watching at home. Parents should also be aware that, while there isn't any sex or nudity, Angie does wear quite a bit of cleavage, and at one point is shown in her bra and panties. The violence and strong language that earned this a PG-13 rating isn't anything you won't see on TV or cable.
Man on a Ledge is an easy one to skip and watch later. While entertaining, it's just not enough to make you jump.
Let’s Talk About It
Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this movie:
• Joey puts a lot on the line to clear Nick's name. When did you stand up for a sibling or friend in a way that might have cost you something?
• Spectators were encouraging Nick to jump, so they could catch it on their camera or phone. Do you think this is a realistic portrayal of what might happen if someone where threatening suicide by jumping off a city building? Explain.
• In the Bible, Joseph was accused of a crime he did not commit and was thrown in prison for years. How was his reaction to his situation different from Nick's? Is one more admirable than the other?
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