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Review: Man on a Ledge

Clever if absurd heist film
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 26, 2012
3.0 3.0 Stars



Pablo F. Fenjves might not be Sidney Lumet, but his clever if absurd heist film does acknowledge its debt to the late, politically inclined director's Dog Day Afternoon. As wrongfully convicted prison escapee Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) rallies the crowd down below his perch high up on the Roosevelt Hotel, someone shouts out, "Attica!" Indeed, Cassidy's camping out on the ledge evokes the Occupy movement, since he represents the downtrodden 99 percent victimized by Trump-like mogul David Englander (a reptilian Ed Harris), though none of this comes up for discussion when NYPD negotiator Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks) tries to talk him down. Meanwhile, not far away, a pair of thieves employ low-rent Mission: Impossible tactics to break into a vault. Fenjves interweaves his story lines with skill, disclosing plot points deftly enough to make them seem plausible, and injecting enough topical subtext to give the hijinks an edge.

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