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Had me wishing he would just jump!!
Man on a Ledge (DVD)
Member Name: beauty88
Man on a Ledge (DVD)
Advantages: Was jumpy and intense, effects made it feel weirdly real!
Disadvantages: Some poor acting, plot became tiresome, unrealistic moments let the plot down
The film is about a man called Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) who books a hotel room in New York City on the top floor and climbs out onto the ledge and waits until passers by notice and signal the police. Before long the entire street has been cordoned off and the majority of NYC police are focussed on the area. The man specifically requests a particular suicide negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) In the meantime Nick's brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and his girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) are breaking into rich New York businessman David Englander (Ed Harris) heavily protected jewellery vault. Therefore the attempted suicide is merely a distraction while they do this.
I don't want to give anything else away about the plot so I cant explain why they are breaking into the vault as this isn't revealed until later on in the film and may spoil it for viewers. All the detail I have given above is information that was revealed in the advert anyway.
One of my favourite things about the film was the way in which the plot developed. From the beginning you are left in the dark with regard to the intentions of the characters and their backgrounds. This worked really well and gave me something to think about during the film, as well as allowing for the big revelation at the end where you find out exactly what is going on. The film was also very edgy and jumpy, this was partly caused by the fact that you really don't know what is going to happen next which left me feeling on edge.
Despite that I still found the film slightly boring...a lot of it was taken up by scenes on the ledge where Lydia was trying to talk Nick into stepping back into the room and then changed tactics to try and find out why he is doing it in the first place. These scenes are quite prolonged, I can partly understand why as in a real-life situation like this the 'jumper' wouldn't just give away their whole life story instantly, nor would they come back into the hotel room within seconds. However from an audience point of view this became a bit tedious, and the slow release of information combined with the fact that the backdrop remained the same for so long, made for a bit of a boring middle part of the film.
It was brought to life slightly by the jumps to and from the scenes involving Joey and Angie breaking into the vault. These scenes were both amusing and edgy, and I actually found it very entertaining. These parts were however very unrealistic. Although the pair struggled to get through the vaults security and had clearly planned very well, it still seemed a bit unlikely that they would have made it through even the first level of security...however they just somehow always seemed to get away with it! I know in films people have to get away with things or nothing would happen, but this took it a bit too far and left me rolling my eyes!
Towards the end of the film I found myself getting impatient for the ending, as I was curious to get the final conclusion of the story and see how it panned out. The ending, like some of the earlier scenes, was fulfilling and conclusive however also very unrealistic. I can't explain why without giving it away, but trust me it was. The ending cut out what would really happen in real life to provide the satisfying ending it needed to conclude. This seemed a bit of a cheat and annoyed me slightly. In my opinion true strong plots can conclude without relying on ridiculously unrealistic moments. I can cope with such moments in fantasy films, but this isnt a fantasy and should have been much more true to life than it was.
Overall the acting in the film was ok. I thought the performances of Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks were very good and they worked well together. I have heard of both actors yet hadn't seen too many films with them in so didn't have too much of an opinion prior to watching this film, however based on this particular film I would rate them both quite highly. Having said that I don't think that the roles they played were extremely challenging and probably didn't really take either of them out of their comfort zone.
I have mixed opinions on the performance of Jamie Bell, again I haven't seen a great deal of him in other films but did have a good opinion of him in 'The Eagle' (2011) I thought in this film he was convincing and natural, yet I just cant take to him. I get the feeling he plays most characters as though it is actually himself, and I don't feel like I've seen a variety of characters come out of his performances...instead it is as though he is playing himself. I wasn't left with a great impression of Genesis Roderiguez who plays his girlfriend Angie either. I felt her performance was quite boring and nothing memorable. She is a very pretty girl and the movie made the most of this, showing her in underwear etc. However I felt this was all she had going for her in this film, or at least all the film allowed her to be, which is a shame.
The movie is filmed in New York City therefore the backdrop obviously looks real and probably didn't take any effects to produce. I do assume however that effects/stunts were used for the ledge scenes particularly later on in the film where things develop from simply being stood on the ledge. Everything looked really realistic, and the jumpy camera angles and sound effects throughout the film gave a sense that you were actually there, so several times everyone in the cinema jumped and gasped when you thought he might jump/fall off.
I'm not afraid of heights but found myself feeling quite spooked and edgy, even though I knew it was just a film. It certainly felt real and gave you a real feel of what it would be like to be up there yourself. This added enjoyment to what were slightly boring scenes and overall I was really impressed with the way the film was produced.
The critics gave this one a bad rating and it only got 32% on Rotten Tomatoes and it was classified as a bit of a flop. I can understand why it got this reception was it was boring in parts and the acting wasn't strong from all main cast members. I also felt the unrealistic moments in the film were a bit lame and provided get out clauses for the plot to survive. Overall the film was entertaining in parts but uninspiring and unmemorable as a whole, therefore I would not recommend it.