[I have many, many other things I am supposed to be writing about here & other places. And yet this happened.]
Objectively, Man on a Ledge is not a good movie, but it was so surprising to me in terms of gender that I can’t stop talking about it. Or tweeting about it, I suppose.
The set-up is that Sam Worthington, with wandering accent, checks into a hotel, has a nice breakfast, then climbs out the window & waits for folks on the ground to notice he might jump. He’s not actually suicidal; we quickly learn he’s providing a distraction for a heist happening in the next building.
And right here is where I start getting interested because the heist? Is being pulled off by Jamie Bell. Who has been in a bunch of stuff since then (for example, last year’s fantastic adaptation of Jane Eyre) but we all know best as Billy Elliot. Billy Elliot! Action hero! And what’s even better is that, as things develop, it becomes clear that he isn’t even the action hero. He’s the sidekick. The real action hero of Man on Ledge is Genesis Rodriguez.
HOW AWESOME IS THAT. Guys, this is a movie that stars Sam Worthington, son of Zeus, but the action stars are a lady of color & a skinny English kid. Love it.
Also, while up on the aforementioned ledge, you know which hard boiiled NYPD negotiator Worthington is talking with? Not Bruce Willis. Not Liam Neeson. Not even Matt Damon. Elizabeth Banks. With Ed Burns as basically *her* sidekick.
Not only is she the negotiator, she is spared girly problems! She’s angsty because she lost a previous jumper, who was a cop. Not because she’s broken up with her boyfriend or can’t balance being a cop & having a baby or… no, that’s it. Those are usually the only reasons ladies are allowed to be angsty.
The movie has a few other things going for it: Ed Harris being creepy, Titus Welliver being arrogant, the dad from “Wonderfalls” being adorable, Bell & Rodriguez having a (relatively) realistic difficult time pulling off the heist. Sadly, Anthony Mackie & his beautiful eyes were underused. And while I gamely suspended my disbelief for the entire picture, the final sequence was more than even I can take.
But I don’t even care, because I’ll take all the ladies kicking ass that I can get.