The film follows Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), an ex-cop who stages a suicide attempt as a diversion for his brother pull off a diamond heist and prove Cassidy’s innocence. A little convoluted for its own good, Man on a Ledge tries to be a mix between Spike Lee’s Inside Man and F Gary Gray’s The Negotiator without the sleek direction, original plot, or capable acting. No matter how many times Hollywood tries to throw Worthington in our face (Terminator Salvation, Avatar, Clash of the Titans), he does not have the charisma to hold our attention; he personifies bland as the new decade’s Paul Walker, only with an Australian accent.
The plot itself remains oddly confusing and predictable all at once, with the twists coming from a mile away. Random plot devices like a homeless man saving the day seem straight out of an Adam Sandler movie. But no one’s laughing…intentionally. The action sequences are a rehash of the Mission Impossible series with one little caveat. None of them are actually spies, so where did they get all those expensive gadgets and learn those Navy Seal techniques? Call me when you know.
If you can forgive Ledge for all its plot holes and a blah of a leading man, you will have two hours of pure escapism. It’s unmistakably laughable throughout, but it also does build that old school B-movie style of suspense. And for the moviegoer who has had a rough week at work and just need a film where they don’t have to think, Man on a Ledge may be the perfect prescription. For the rest of us, save some money and watch Jersey Shore.