Those of who you remember F. Gary Gray's 1998 dramatic thriller, The Negotiator: Have you ever wondered what that film would've been like, with Sam Worthington and Elizabeth Banks - instead of Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey - playing the roles of the wrongly-convicted-cop and the hostage negotiator who is his only hope to prove his innocence?
Worthington's new starring vehicle, Man on a Ledge, certainly sounds like the answer... at first. However, as the film's official trailer demonstrates, this new thriller looks to be more of a cross between The Negotiator and a caper flick like Spike Lee's Inside Man. But will it be better, as good, or worse than either of those two films?
Despite that intriguing mashup of genre elements, this early footage from Man on a Ledge paints it as being somewhat of a generic Hollywood thriller - with its fair share of cliché dialogue, stale stock characters (the idealistic police officer, the utterly corrupt businessman, etc.), and a storyline where the twists and turns are... well, kind of predictable.
Here is an official synopsis for Man on a Ledge:
Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) was an honest cop. Now he’s in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Desperate, he seizes the first chance to escape. Hours later, he is freshly shaven in an expensive suit, standing on a window ledge high above New York City. As a crowd gathers below, police cordon off the area and agree to Nick’s request to speak with pretty police negotiator Lydia Anderson (Elizabeth Banks). But Lydia doesn’t know that she is part of his grand plan, a plan that could give them both a second chance.
Speaking quietly into a lapel microphone, Nick coordinates the high-tech theft of a $30 million diamond—the same diamond he was convicted of stealing. It’s the only way he can prove his innocence, but he needs Lydia’s help—and he’s running out of time. When his identity is exposed, a SWAT team positions itself on the roof, read to take him out. Lydia isn’t sure he’s telling the truth, but if he really was set up for the diamond heist, it had to be an inside job, which means at least one of the cops on the scene wants Nick dead. With SWAT about to move, cops destroying the evidence that could save him and nowhere to go but down, Nick’s chances of survival are getting slimmer by the minute.
Now check out the official Man on a Ledge trailer (via Yahoo! Movies) below:
Man on a Ledge was directed by Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cité Soleil) and scripted by RED writing duo Erich and Jon Hoeber - in collaboration with Chris Gorak (the director of this winter's The Darkest Hour) and Pablo F. Fenjves (Twilight Man, The Devil's Child).
It also features a very strong cast overall, which includes Worthington and Banks - along with supporting players like Jamie Bell (The Adventures of Tintin), Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer), Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker), Edward Burns (Entourage), and Ed Harris as the previously-referenced villain of the piece. So there's definitely potential for Man on a Ledge to excel, in the acting department.
While the film looks to boast some ingenious bits of cinematography (like the "fishbowl perspective," in this article's header image), there's not a whole lot else that comes off as that creative or memorable - at least in the first trailer. Besides the plot being a bit too reminiscent of other films, none of the set pieces or character conflicts in Man on a Ledge seem that interesting or well-executed. It doesn't help that Worthington - who actually delivered a pretty competent performance in the recent thriller, The Debt - comes off as less-than-stellar leading man material in this preliminary footage.
On that note - check out the official Man on a Ledge poster below:
Man on a Ledge arrives in theaters on January 13th, 2012.
Source: Yahoo! Movies