Sunday, 5 February 2012

Review: Man On A Ledge

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.

Man On A Ledge poster

Man On A Ledge
102 mins / Dir. Asger Leth

"Surgeons have worked tirelessly for 72 hours but have been unable to separate Sam Worthington from his Australian accent."

Yes, Worthington's back - the cinematic equivalent of beige wallpaper. Able to take any role and drain it of all emotion and believability. It's not that he's 'bad' as such - he reads his lines and pulls the right faces - but he always comes off as an understudy who doesn't really want to be there.

The Plot: A cop, framed for a jewel robbery, breaks out of prison as part of a plan to clear his name. While he stages a diversion so the rest of his ruse can take place, he has to choose which of his ex-colleagues he can trust...

The Good: As a crime/revenge thriller, it's competently made. Cryptic where it should be, tense where it should be. The characters are a little cardboard, but Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris and Jamie Bell all make the best of a mediocre job, and in the final act, you do want to see the wrongs righted and the nasty people to get their come-uppance.

The Bad: Yeah, it's a little cardboard. But with a title that's second only to Snakes on a Plane for descriptiveness over creativity, that's not surpsising. Nothing about the film feels new at all, and it's pretty much a cookiee-cutter action thriller. It's not necessarily a 'bad' thing, but when the price of entry is £8+, you'll feel shortchanged.

The Ugly: Why to people keep casting Sam Worthington as an American character? If his backstory involved his being Australian, he could have stopped trying the accent (although it's debatable how much he was trying), and just got on with looking off a ledge and acting grim and earnest.
I don't blame Worthington, I blame Asger Leth. As a director, he's well within his boundaries to stop everything and shout "You! Worthington! What in the name of flip are you doing? DO THE VOICE or you're SACKED!" or at least ADR the dialogue afterwards.

Worth a Punt? In the cinema? Not really. When it's on telly? Absolutely. The sad fact is that it could have been so much more enjoyable with a better male lead. Elizabeth Banks goes some way to making up for that, but the one-man characterisation-vacuum strikes again...


• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

No comments:

Post a Comment