Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Film Review: Man on a Ledge

It is barely February and already we have a strong candidate for worst film of the year, or at the very least, the dumbest movie of 2012.  Granted, the first month or so of the year, while everyone outside of New York and L.A. are catching up on the Oscar films, is when the studios use the multiplexes as their own personal dumping ground, spewing forth all those sad sack movies that they know will never flying elsewhere in the year when people may actually be paying attention.  But even with that in mind, and even though no one is really paying attention, Man on a Ledge is a surprisingly stupid work of cinema.  And as stupid as this film as a whole may be, the ending in particular is so ridiculous, so incredibly preposterous, so mind-numbingly inane, to raise it to a level of one of the worst endings in film history.  And I ain't just whistlin' Dixie folks - this is one bad movie.

Okay, okay, perhaps the movie isn't the worst thing since unsliced bread (my critical hyperbole runneth over above), but still, it is pretty damn stupid - especially that ending.  But I digress.  What exactly is this whole thing about anyway?  Starring Sam Worthington as an ex-cop who, after falling on supposedly bad times and landing himself in prison, escapes and lands himself on the ledge of the twenty-first floor of a posh New York hotel.  Apparently there to do a swan dive into the oblivion of the street below, as the story progresses (what story there is) we see that Worthington's disgraced ex-cop has a bit more on his plate.  These ulterior motives will eventually become clear to the audience, but this by no means, will make them seem any less silly.

Featuring Elizabeth Banks as a cop saddled with the duty of getting Worthington's ledge walker back inside the hotel, Jamie Bell as Worthington's snarky kid brother and Anthony Mackie as his former partner, this quite lackluster cast (really, could you find a more bland menagerie of one-note players?) doesn't exactly get this already quite ridiculously themed party back on its shaky two feet.  I suppose there are worst films out there (trust me, there are a hell of a lot of them) but the combination of the most middle-of-the-road cast this side of the Pecos (the one shining note could have been the almost always powerful Ed Harris, but with what he has to work with...) with a director that seems as lost as his characters are, and a screenplay that starts off as yet another rogue cop scenario and eventually spirals into the mind-numbingly stupid final act we finally, mercifully get (really, it makes no sense in any sort of reality I have ever encountered and the willing suspension of disbelief only goes so far people!) make for a definite candidate for any discerning film lovers worst of the year list - and the year is only a twelfth of the way over.

No comments: