Man on a Ledge (Summit)
Rated PG-13 for violence and brief strong language.
Starring Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, Elizabeth Banks, Anthony Mackie,
Jamie Bell, Génesis Rodríguez, Kyra Sedgwick.
Written by Pablo Fenjves.
Directed by Asger Leth.
Sam Worthington is Australian, that much is sure. If ever there were any doubt, one would need to watch only a few minutes of Man on a Ledge to clearly hear his Aussie dialect - even though he plays a former New York City cop.
Worthington plays Nick Cassidy, a former police officer convicted on a false charge of stealing a tycoon's (Ed Harris) prized diamond. After escaping, he hatches a plot with his brother Joey (Jamie Bell - whose English accent slips from time to time) and Joey's hot girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) to steal the diamond (which was not stolen, but hidden in the tycoon's Manhattan high-rise safe) to exonerate himself.
The plot involves a rouse of pretending to be a suicidal man on the ledge of a NYC high rise hotel across the street from the tycoon's lair, providing a distraction for Joey and Angie to break into the safe. The plan also involves a demand from Nick that notorious hostage negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) be involved in talking him down from the ledge.
As the plot unfolds, shots are fired, the plan hits a few snags, and the principal players get their due.
Man on a Ledge is a film that needs an emphatic shove off a ledge. The plot is as silly as Worthington's aforementioned fake American accent (sorry, Mate!), which matches his equally fake-looking hair. There are many other lousy elements of Man on a Ledge, including a cartoonish portrayal of a TV reporter (Kyra Sedgewick) who conveniently fills in the plot holes with inane "live TV" commentary.
Films released in January usually belong in the movie dustbin, but Man on a Ledge is an early front runner to make my "Worst" list for 2012. It's early, but who knows?