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DVD Review: MAN ON A LEDGE

"The ledge gives the lead actor a run for his money in this average thriller"

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MAN ON A LEDGE - USA - ***


Starring: Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris, Genesis Rodriguez.


 

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Last month saw the release of Margin Call, a taut, perceptive drama set in a collapsing investment bank, and Hollywood's first white-collar response to the 2008 recession. Here is its blue-collar counterpart. Man On a Ledge might look like another preposterous heist thriller, but it's really a topical wish-fulfilment fantasy, in which the common man gets sweet revenge on the unscrupulous wealthy elite.

 

 

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The man on the ledge is Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), a former policeman jailed for stealing a diamond the size of a tennis ball from a ruthless property tycoon (Ed Harris). After escaping from prison, Cassidy checks into a high-rise hotel, climbs out of the window and threatens to jump.



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While a crowd and the city's news media gather to watch the spectacle unfold, his brother (Jamie Bell) and an appealingly proportioned female sidekick (Genesis Rodriguez) quietly break into the tycoon's office block across the street, in an attempt to find the diamond Cassidy was convicted of stealing, and thereby clear his name.

 

 

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Compared with Tom Cruise's recent exploits on the Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible 4, Worthington might as well be standing on the roof of a bungalow, but first-time feature director Asger Leth finds some suitably vertigo-inducing angles.

 

 

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Crucially, Leth also understands that in this kind of movie, and with this kind of ledge, the audience demands that eventually, someone has got to jump. He has no intention of disappointing on that front.


 

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By Robbie Collin