Man on a Ledge

If you do the time, you may as well do the crime.

For honesty’s sake, I’ll fess up to why this was even on my to-watch list: Elizabeth Banks.  After seeing her as J.D.’s girlfriend in Scrubs and Effie in The Hunger Games, I’m starting to develop a girl-crush on her.  She just gets so into her roles.  I love it.  She probably made up about 90% of my interest.  The other 10% was the plot line.

Nick (Sam Worthington), an ex-cop and current-felon, maintains his innocence in the robbery that got him sent to jail for 25 years…a robbery of a $40 million diamond.  Now three years into his sentence, Nick manages to break out of prison and hide from the cops.  That is, until television cameras find him on the ledge outside the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, 21 stories above the street and ready to jump.  Nick asks specifically for police negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks).  He’s trying to prove his innocence and she’s his only chance at bringing it to light.

The acting was pretty freaking terrific.  Such a suspenseful story to work with.  Nick was a desperate, yet insanely clever man.  He was at that point where he had nothing to lose anymore, and everything to gain if everything worked.  Lydia was desperate in her own way–to keep Nick from jumping.  Other characters were also carefully crafted, from Joey (Nick’s brother) to Jack Dougherty (Lydia’s boss).  You could never really get a hold on which characters were the shifty ones and which ones were the good guys.

The plot is intricate and exciting.  Everything unravels perfectly and it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen because it’s just all so entwined.  You really have to pay attention to details.

I thought the really small roles, those of the spectators on the street, were some of the best, actually.  They were realistic, if in a slightly mortifying way.  Hundreds of people are on the ground watching Nick and chanting, “Jump!”  As startling as it seems when you’re watching it, there’s that nagging thought in the back of your mind that says this isn’t as fictionalized as you would like it to be.  And there’s a really charming/crazy hobo that pops up a few times.  He made things funny.

It was a very intense movie.  I think I sat on the end up my seat for pretty much the whole movie.  Great action and chases, but also witty and intrinsic.  Probably more skewed to male audiences, but girls seriously, don’t rule it out.  If anything, there are quite a few hot guys to look at.  Ed Burns (who plays Jack Dougherty in this) is from 27 Dresses, for example (he played George, Jane’s boss).

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