‘Man on a Ledge’ could have jumped

Justin Marietti

In the new crime thriller “Man on a Ledge,” Sam Worthington plays Nick Cassidy, a man who has decided that “today is the day that everything changes, one way or another.”

Cassidy rents a room on the 21st floor of the Roosevelt Hotel, and orders what could quite possibly be his last meal. After he finishes his lunch, he opens up the window and casually steps out onto the narrow ledge overlooking the busy streets below. This is where he will make his last stand, and put everything on the line to prove he is an innocent man.

Once a police officer, Cassidy ended up on the other side of the law. He was arrested and convicted for stealing one of the world’s largest diamonds from mega millionaire David Englander (Ed Harris). In an extravagant and extremely unlikely turn of events, Cassidy manages to get out of prison and regain his freedom, at least temporarily.

As he catches the attention of onlookers and media alike, the public starts filming the scene with their cell phones and chanting, “Jump! Jump! Jump!” I found myself thinking about the paradoxical situation this man is experiencing. See, if Cassidy is a man who believes he is innocent then clearly he’s not going to jump.

If he does, there is no point to any of this, and he has no more proof that he is innocent than he did before. So why would anyone who knows this information take any of the protagonist’s threats seriously? How long could this plot unfold before the audience feels the same way as the onlookers and just want him to jump?

When the police arrive to the scene, Cassidy says he will only speak to one officer in particular, Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks). Mercer apparently has a bad reputation amongst her co-workers for a botched suicide negotiation which left a rookie officer dead.

This was not a very good effort by Banks. Although a great deal of her roles have been comedic performances, she has done well in more serious roles, such as “The Next Three Days.” Maybe it was the fact that she appeared hung over right from the start, I’m not sure. But I never really took her seriously.

Acrophobia, or the fear of heights, is one of the most common fears among humans, myself included. In that respect, “Man on a Ledge” is definitely able to deliver. There were a handful of scenes where I didn’t even want to look at the screen.

Director Asger Leth filmed a large portion of the scenes right from the ledge where Cassidy is standing, which allows the audience to feel like they’re up there alongside him. However, Worthington does not seem very convincing for the most part, leading me to wonder what kind of trained officers would actually be fooled by a guy like this.

The ending is just as questionable as the rest of the material, but it might as well be. The screenwriter must have watched “The Fugitive” and decided to make a new version that swaps a one-armed man with a millionaire and the city of Chicago with a rooftop. Oh, and a plot that was much weaker than that of its classic predecessor.

The visual effects of “Ledge” are its only strength. The plot is so farfetched and ridiculous that only the most passive viewers can actually remain ignorant to the plot holes and enjoy what they are watching.

That being said, if you don’t take this movie as seriously as it takes itself, I don’t think it’s all that bad. Sometimes, even the most unlikely of plots can lead to an enjoyable time at the theater. But if you lend any common sense to this movie, then you will feel ripped off.