Catching up on write-ups now that classes are winding down. From January...
I'm not a big fan of movie trailers lately. I realize their job is to get people into the seats, but I sometimes think they'll competely misrepresent a movie. In the case of Man on a Ledge, the trailer sucked and as I'll mention in a minute, the movie sucked as well, but when I first heard of the movie, I thought it sounded exciting. Directed by Asgar Leth (son of Jorgen Leth, a man who greatly inspired Lars Von Trier so I was hoping talent would be passed down a generation) and starring a very well-rounded cast, the idea of a man (Sam Worthington) threatening to jump off a ledge as to distract police from a revenge scheme can sound pretty awesome on paper. Then I see a trailer that makes it look like a thriller that may have gone direct-to-DVD.
So paragraph-sized rant time- I feel bad for the movie-going general public when it comes to having to watch these things. I remember seeing Inglourious Basterds and I loved it becasue I expected a Quentin Tarantino movie, but I've heard several people complain that it had nowhere near as much action as the preview showcased in all its fine-tuned, flashy editing. Same could be said for one of my favorites from last year, Drive, where many (including that lawsuit woman) couldn't believe the movie was quiet and had the pace of a slow-boil when the trailer showed us cars drifting and Ryan Gosling being very violent. It's not as if the movie didn't have any missing images, but viewers who might not jump to IMDB, read Nicolas Winding Refn's filmography, go see his films, and then try to apply that to the visuals/plot that was just teased to them... are kind of right to be pissed. Then again, I feel the same way about a lot of comedies today. The trailer for The Dictator is the latest example where I only chuckled like once or twice, but this movie will presumably be R-rated and you can't actually show me what I'll end up laughing at unless it's a red-band trailer. Oh, and then I remember seeing so many people complain about The Hunger Games looking stupid on my Facebook feed, but it looks the same as upcoming movies like The Avengers (explosion, dramatic music, line alluding to "epicness", etc). Action blockbuster trailers are just mind-numbing and I experienced this last year with Thor, X-Men: First Class, and Rise of the Planet of the Apes... all movies I completely ended up liking. So go figure.
Now let me get back to the movie, which come to think of it, will take up a lot less space then what I just typed. The movie's biggest and most glaring flaw, is its dialogue. There are a ton of off-putting one-liners that attempt humor and completely fail. It's almost on par with the opening to an episode of CSI: Miami and what should be a gritty crime-drama, ends up feeling like a gimmick. The problem is, this begins to have a domino effect everything else. A lot of the humor is coming from the cops or Nick's (Worthington) brother (Jamie Bell) and the brother's girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez). It then becomes pretty difficult to take Nick or hostage negotiator Lydia (Elizabeth Banks) seriously when their lines that are meant to have some sort of impact, just fall flat because they aren't in step with the tone put forth by the rest of the movie. The plot tries to come up with twists and turns, but everything just seems so forced because of the sudden shifts from upbeat to grim (or an attempt at both).