Grae's Rating:


Just jump already.

Yep, there's a man on a ledge in it. The filmmakers keep trying desperately to make this movie more complicated than that, but really, it's just Sam Worthington looking downward and trying not to lose his balance while some other mildly interesting stuff happens. Movies like this make me wonder why, in this age of nothing new under the sun, some movies manage to work, and others end up like lonely old discounted bakery bread. I think in this case, the movie is unremarkable because it's working too hard at making you believe its far-fetched sleight of hand.

The only good news for the viewer is that they (perhaps like screenwriter Pablo F. Fenjves) don't have any idea what cop-turned-convict Nick Cassidy (Worthington) is really up to for most of the film. Pieces of the ill-fitting puzzle are revealed as the movie goes on, keeping everyone guessing. We know pretty early on that Cassidy isn't interested in jumping, and his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and his saucy Latina girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) are causing mischief nearby. But since the Hitchcockian tension rule of letting the audience in on the plan isn't being used, the movie has to rely on tired near-misses during the film and lame-brained chases in the last 15 minutes to keep things snappy. Even as the elaborate plan becomes clearer, it feels like too little too late.

Another strike: this movie has less chemistry in it than my second grade science class. While Sam Worthington wrestles with his American accent, Elizabeth Banks is stuck walking to and from the window, pretending to be a hungover outcast. The two of them almost feel like they're in different movies and were just edited together. It runs in the family--I had trouble figuring out Bell and Rodriguez's relationship for more than half of the film. Were they together or just friends? There's not nearly enough Ed Harris storming around his penthouse to make me feel like there's a real villain in this, either.

As the curtain is pulled back and the time comes for different characters to be exposed for what they really are, it produces more yawns than gasps. A movie like this needs to feel like a steep roller coaster that makes your stomach drop when it finally plummets towards its conclusion, but instead, it just registers like the annoying part in the middle with the little hills that feels like a waste of time.


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