Follow TV Tropes


Film / Man on a Ledge

Go To
How far would you go to prove your innocence?

Ex-cop Nick Cassidy was sent to jail, convicted of stealing, and destroying, a $40-million diamond from David Englander. He has just escaped from prison to embark on a daring heist: to stand in plain sight, while the crime he was convicted of is committed, and in so doing prove his innocence. He is willing to go as far as he needs to—in this case, to a ledge on the Roosevelt Hotel, 31 stories up.

Man on a Ledge is a 2012 thriller film directed by Asger Leth, starring Sam Worthington, Jamie Bell, Genesis Rodriguez, Elizabeth Banks and Ed Harris.

Man on a Ledge contains the following tropes:

  • Acceptable Breaks from Reality:
    • Lots. In the real world, a person will need to spend at least some time in the courtroom to clear their name. Also, a lot of actions taken by the characters would likely get them shot by police.
    • Though the point of "Being on the Ledge" is that the whole thing is being filmed by the local news, and a lot of police don't want to be on camera doing the shooting. Also, the film outright notes the New York governor issued a pardon - cutting through a lot of court time and red tape.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Several. The last one comes with a side order of Claustrophobia for poor Angie.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Angie swears in Spanish twice.
  • Broken Bird: Detective Mercer is haunted by memories of a fellow cop whose suicide she couldn't prevent.
  • Camera Spoofing: Of the "Polaroid Punk" variety. Subverted in that the guards never catch on.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The air bag that is placed down near the beginning of the movie, when the police think he's a potential suicide.
  • Clear My Name: Nick has to orchestrate a theft to do so, otherwise he will be in Sing Sing Prison for the rest of his life.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: David Englander. The man is big on apparently charitable and gentrifying work, but like many other people, the real estate bubble burst hurt his wallet a bit... good thing he's got an insurance policy for a multi-million-dollar diamond that he can defraud... and a man he can make a patsy... and plenty of connections in the police that can help him set it up.
  • Dirty Cop: Several of them; part of the plot is figuring out who they are.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: There is a man. He is on a ledge for much of the movie.
  • Faking the Dead: Nick's father. The funeral is when Nick pulls off his Great Escape and the man pretends to be Roosevelt Hotel personnel to help him afterwards.
  • Great Escape: Nick at the ending of the How We Got Here flashback on the first act, during his father's funeral.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Mike may have been a Dirty Cop, but he shoots Marcus to stop him from killing Nick and Joey. It may have gotten him killed.
  • The Heist: The attempt to steal the diamond from Englander to show he got it, with the titular suicide attempt being a distraction.
  • Just Like Robin Hood: Kind of. More proving a man's innocence than an actual redistribution of wealth.
  • Leap of Faith: Near the end, Nick takes a running leap off the ledge... and lands safely on the air bag the police put out an hour of movie-time ago.
  • Lingerie Scene: Angie gets one where she's shown in her bra and panties (both pink) while changing clothes.
  • Logo Joke: The Summit Entertainment logo has a background of New York skyscrapers on it, seen here.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Angie is very beautiful, wearing a tanktop that shows her cleavage for much of the film, along with the camera focusing on her backside while in tight pants as well. She also strips to her underwear once.
  • Multitasked Conversation: Joey tells Nick in his earpiece when he and Angie spot a sensor they didn't know was there, just as Lydia is telling Nick what she's be doing if she wasn't there to talk him off the ledge (eating at a favorite restaurant). Nick says out loud that what's being described to him sounds hot, but it needs to be cooled down. Both Joey and Lydia think Nick is saying this to Lydia, with Joey getting irritated because he thinks Nick is ignoring him to flirt with Lydia (though it doesn't stop him from asking Nick if Lydia's attractive). It's Angie who realizes Nick is telling Joey the sensor is a heat sensor, and that Joey should cool it down.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Sam Worthington's character is perhaps the only New York cop with an Australian accent.
  • Police Brutality: Officer Marcus assaults Joey while he is handcuffed.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: Englander calls Angie a "little Chihuahua".
  • The Precarious Ledge: The film is pretty much built around this trope. The Protagonist spends a great deal of time standing on the ledge of a building over a city.
  • Precision F-Strike
    Mercer: I know Cassidy's not on this ledge to say goodbye.
    Dougherty: Yeah? What's he saying?
    Mercer: "Fuck you."
  • Primal Fear: Definitely the Heights and Falling sort. See also Air-Vent Passageway.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: David Englander. The man's benefit work is just so he can show off he's got money to toss away... and when he's feeling a little low, he's got no problem arranging a big fraud and putting a man in prison for life.
  • Side Bet: Suzie and her cameraman make a bet on whether or not Nick will jump.
  • Spicy Latina: Angie. She has a feisty personality, drops a few Spanish insults at the bad guys and is very beautiful, as shown off by outfits that highlight her good looks (also stripping down to her lingerie once).
  • Smug Snake: David Englander, all over. When he walks away thinking he's going to become a Karma Houdini at the finale, he actually stops for a moment to blow a big kiss at Nick.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Jack and Lydia aren't too thrilled to be working together at first to get Nick off the ledge, but they eventually thaw towards each other, and near the end of the movie, Jack admits he would be proud to work with her again.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: Winners and losers. Guess which one Englander thinks he's in?
  • Title Drop: Delivered by the NYPD desk sergeant.
    "We need an emergency service unit at The Roosevelt, 45th and Madison. Shut down the block, we got a man on a ledge."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Did Mike survive being shot near the end?