FILM REVIEW: Man on a Ledge (12A)

With the millions of dollars lavished on high-octane Hollywood thrillers and the dozens of people toiling behind the scenes, surely someone should spot glaring continuity errors.

Alas, Asger Leth’s vertiginous game of cat and mouse is riddled with discrepancies.

The hero checks into hotel room 2505 yet when he eventually steps out on to the window ledge, seemingly ready to throw himself off, a passing cop looks up and bellows, “We got a jumper on the 21st floor!”

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Elsewhere, a jewel thief’s hulking bag of hi-tech tools is conveniently forgotten for great swathes of the film then magically reappears slung over his shoulder at the critical moment.

Even more noticeable, the same robber hangs from ceiling ducts to avoid motion sensors and exposes the top of his underwear, which rapidly changes colour with each quick-fire edit of the scene.

Perhaps he got overly excited about the prospect of pilfering the priceless gem and felt the urge to refresh his boxers in mid-air?

These blunders distract from an otherwise enjoyably ridiculous caper that ventures high above the streets of New York City where an escaped criminal engineers some sleight of hand from his vantage point on a narrow window ledge.

Ex-cop Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) is sentenced to time behind bars for stealing a priceless diamond belonging to billionaire David Englander (Ed Harris).

His pleas of innocence fall on deaf ears so when Nick is granted temporary leave to attend his father’s funeral, the convict escapes police custody and heads for the Roosevelt Hotel, where he enjoys a final meal, scrawls a note (“I will exit this world as I entered - innocent”), then steps out on to the ledge.

Police Department negotiator Lydia Anderson (Elizabeth Banks) rushes to the scene and tries to talk Nick back into the hotel room.

Down below, a crowd gathers, willing Nick to throw himself off the building.

“Anybody who creates traffic like this in Midtown should be shot,” grumbles an elderly woman.

Meanwhile, in a building opposite, Nick’s younger brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and his girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) orchestrate the daring heist of Englander’s private vault.

Man On A Ledge wilfully ignores the laws of physics and logic to deliver a series of energetic set pieces including the break-in.

Worthington is a likeable and stoic hero but emotion rarely troubles his face, while Bell and Rodriguez provide the comic relief as the lovers, who bicker as they perform Mission: Impossible-style gymnastics to avoid heat, motion and movement sensors.

Harris hungrily gnaws on the scenery as the pantomime villain and Kyra Sedgwick endures a thankless role as an insensitive reporter, who shoves a microphone in Nick’s face at the most inopportune moment and screeches, “How do you feel?”

Exhausted, no doubt, like us.

By Damon Smith


Released: February 3 (UK & Ireland), 102 mins