×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Ledge

"Ledge" looks like a better leap for cable than theatrical.

With:
Gavin Nichols - Charlie Hunnam
Det. Hollis Lucetti - Terrence Howard
Shana - Liv Tyler
Joe - Patrick Wilson
Angela Lucetti - Jacqueline Flemming
Chris - Chris Gorham

Middling drama “The Ledge” uses a gimmicky framing device — a cop with troubles of his own tries to talk a jumper off a high-rise roof — as hook for a love triangle involving a woman, her loyal fundamentalist-Christian husband and sexy atheist bad-boy neighbor. The meditations on faith vs. reason that have played out in writer-director Matthew Chapman’s nonfiction books (though not so much in his screenplays, like “Consenting Adults”) are delivered with a heavy, sometimes simplistic hand in this contrived, plausibility-challenged pic. Watchable but unlikely to get much critical love, “Ledge” looks like a better leap for cable than theatrical.

Second-billed Terrence Howard (also a co-exec producer), dominates the first few minutes as Baton Rouge detective Hollis, who gets some unexpected and appalling medical news: He’s infertile, and was born that way. The appalling part is he’s already father to two young children he thought were his own; clearly, wife Angela (Jacqueline Flemming) has some explaining to do.

First, however, Hollis must go to work, where he’s promptly called to handle an emergency downtown. A man, Gavin (Charlie Hunnam), has clambered out onto a building ledge, attracting a crowd beneath. When Hollis, understandably distracted but experienced, pops his head out of an adjacent window to engage the apparently suicidal man, Gavin reveals he doesn’t actually want to jump — but if he doesn’t do so at noon (in 80 minutes), someone else will be killed.

The two thesps show good chemistry in this sequence, and one looks forward to seeing them exercise their chops together over the long haul. Unfortunately, the bulk of “The Ledge” consists of flashbacks that illustrate how Gavin got to this awkward spot, relegating Howard to brief appearances that grow ludicrous, as Hollis continually interrupts this life-or-death scenario to take calls from his fretting wife.

Flashbacks show Gavin meeting Shana (Tyler) as she and spouse Joe (Patrick Wilson) move in across the hall. The couple invite Gavin and his gay best friend, flatmate Chris (Chris Gorham), to dinner, during which Joe leaps to conclusions. But when Shana gets a part-time job at the hotel Gavin manages, it becomes clear Gavin isn’t gay, and sparks fly.

Knowing she owes Joe a great deal, but unhappy in their marriage, Shana gravitates toward the flippant but smitten Gavin. It’s only a matter of time before they surrender to mutual attraction, leaving Joe Joe finds out, hell-bent on vengeance.

There’s a great deal of on-the-nose talk here about faith, rationality, sin and so forth. But Chapman’s sincerity is undercut by the crudely melodramatic explanations of why his principals believe as they do. And while Wilson works hard, his character is a one-dimensional near-caricature. People like Joe certainly exist, but like yesteryear’s extreme gay or ethnic stereotypes, it’s depressing that intolerant nutjobs are too often the only outspoken Christians we see in movies.

Though too cool-looking with his shaggy hair and facial scruff to be an upscale hotelier, Hunnam keeps the movie above water as much as he can with an alert, appealing performance. But the pic ultimately undercuts his light touch with an overheated final act that’s hard to take seriously.

Packaging is pro if uninspired; surprisingly, Bobby Bukowski’s lensing is a bit on the drab side.

The Ledge

Production: A Foresight Unlimited presentation of a Mark Damon/Michael Mailer and VIP Medienfonds production in association with Rising Star. Produced by Moshe Diamant, Michael Mailer, Mark Damon. Executive producers, Gregory Walker, Nick Thurlow, Tamara Stuparich de la Barra, Bobby Ranghelov, Tilo Seiffert, Marcus Schofer, Christian Arnold-Beutel, Ortwin Freyermuth, Steven Saxon, Faisal S.M. Al Saud; co-producers Olga Tymshan, Matthias Viser, Katherine Owens. Co-executive producers, Terrence Howard, Taylor Clyne. Directed, written by Matthew Chapman.

Crew: Camera (color, HD-to-35mm), Bobby Bukowski; editor, Anne McCabe, Alex Hall; music, Nathan Barr; music supervisor, Andy Ross; production designer, Jim Gelarden; art director, Jason Baldwin Stewart; set decorator, Andrew Bofinger; costume designer, Jillian Kriener; sound (Dolby), Michael Russo; supervising sound editor, Michael Baird; re-recording mixer, Jerry Gilbert; assistant director, Tommy Martin; casting, Shannon Makhanian. Reviewed at Sundance Film Festival (competing), Jan. 22, 2011. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: Gavin Nichols - Charlie Hunnam
Det. Hollis Lucetti - Terrence Howard
Shana - Liv Tyler
Joe - Patrick Wilson
Angela Lucetti - Jacqueline Flemming
Chris - Chris GorhamWith: Maxine Greco, Geraldine Singer, Dean West, Briana Dufrene, Jillian Batherson.

More Film

  • 'This Isn’t Spinal Tap': Dishing the

    'This Isn’t Spinal Tap': Dishing the Dirt on Motley Crue's Surprisingly Dark Biopic

    The new, eagerly awaited Motley Crue biopic, based on Neil Strauss’ best-selling 2001 book, “The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band,” premieres today on Netflix after a seemingly endless 13 years in development hell. Those anticipating “a fun ‘80s music movie,” as Crue bassist Nikki Sixx puts it, will inevitably be stunned [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Box Office: Jordan Peele's 'Us' Nabs $7.4 Million on Thursday Night

    Jordan Peele’s horror-thriller “Us” opened impressively with $7.4 million on Thursday night. The figure easily topped Thursday preview numbers for “The Nun” at $5.4 million and “A Quiet Place” at $4.3 million. Projections for “Us,” Peele’s much-anticipated follow-up to 2017’s “Get Out,” have been in the $38 million to $45 million range for the weekend as [...]

  • Beatriz Bodegas on Netflix Original: ‘Who

    ‘Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?’ Producer on New Spanish Netflix Original

    BARCELONA – “Who Would You Take to a Desert Island?” is the second directorial outing from Spain’s Jota Linares (“Animales sin collar”) a Netflix Original premiering on Friday, March 22 in competition at the Malaga Spanish Language Film Festival. Starring María Pedraza, Jaime Lorente, Pol Monen and Andrea Ros, the film is the movie adaptation [...]

  • Beijing Festival Unveils 'Max Max,' 'Bourne'

    Beijing Festival Unveils 'Max Max,' 'Bourne,' Kurosawa Screening Series

    The upcoming Beijing International Film Festival will give space to high profile Hollywood franchise movies with screenings of all films in both the “Mad Max” and “Bourne Identity” series. Classic Hollywood fare will also feature prominently in a line-up that, as usual, features an eclectic grab bag of titles. The local government-backed festival opens April [...]

  • J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and the Church

    SXSW Film Review: 'J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius'

    Like 8mm films of 1960s “happenings” or videos of 1970s performance art, “J.R. ‘Bob’ Dobbs and the Church of the SubGenius” chronicles a cultural footnote that perhaps should be filed under the heading You Had to Be There. The satirical-absurdist “religion” founded by some Texans actually caught fire among hipsters in the 1980s, influencing some [...]

  • 'Roll Red Roll' Review: Piercing Documentary

    Film Review: 'Roll Red Roll'

    “Roll Red Roll” is a piercingly relevant and disturbing documentary about an infamous high school rape case that took place in Steubenville, Ohio (pop. 18,600), on Aug. 11, 2012. Steubenville, the sort of Friday-night-lights small town that boasts signs that read “Kick off for Jesus,” is a place that’s good at keeping secrets. When the [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    Writers Guild, Hollywood Agents Negotiate With Deadline Looming

    The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood agents have held a sixth negotiating session with a deadline for a new deal 16 days away — and it’s uncertain whether progress is being made. The Association of Talent Agents made counter-proposals at Thursday’s session that contain provisions for more accountability and transparency by agencies for clients [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content