Hold on people, we’re going on a ride... a stationary ride. That’s right folks, in the spirit of ‘Snakes On A Plane’, this movie truly is about a man on a ledge. Okay, there’s a little more to it than that. Sam Worthington plays Nick Cassidy, former cop, current convicted criminal and escaped prisoner who's out to prove his innocence by um, standing on a ledge. That’s it. That’s the movie.
Oh alright, there's still a little bit more to it. Nick’s stint on the infamous ledge as a would-be suicidal jumper is all a diversion while his brother Joey (Jamie Bell, ‘Billy Elliot’) and Joey’s girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez, 'Entourage') steal a $40 million diamond from real estate tycoon and not-so-nice-guy David Englander (Ed Harris, 'The Truman Show'). Rounding out the cast are Elizabeth Banks ('The 40 Year Old Virgin') as the outcast NYPD negotiator, Anthony Mackie ('The Hurt Locker') - Nick’s former partner, and Edward Burns ('Saving Private Ryan') - yeah, I don’t know why he’s there.
The movie starts out fairly strong, with Nick’s escape and the setup as he steps out on to said ledge on the 23rd floor of The Roosevelt hotel in midtown Manhattan. Then comes the most low-tech heist you’ve ever seen. I’ll give you a hint - a skateboard is involved. The movie lags in the middle as the filmmakers try to build Sam and Elizabeth’s story line, which doesn’t quite work. This pairing monopolises far too much of the film's focus, while all the action and humour falls to the other side of the street where the heist is happening.
I was relieved to find out that the entire 102 minute running time wasn’t spent entirely on that damn ledge. There are still a few twists and turns along the way once Sam decides to some down.
So yes, this is a high concept movie that’s a little on the convoluted side, and a lot on the ludicrous side. But here’s the thing - it’s supposed to be. Enjoy your popcorn.