“Man on a Ledge” is a real nail biter. Viewers who object to foul language should be aware that the film contains quite a bit of it. If you are able to ignore that negative aspect, as I did, you will be highly entertained for almost two hours.
Sam Worthington - Wikimedia
I had never seen Sam Worthington (the Man on the Ledge) in a film before. I was pleasantly surprised, not only that he is very good looking, but is also a great actor. He is aided in his endeavors by a superb cast. I must mention Kyra Sedgwick who plays somewhat of a cameo part, a television reporter. She is a very attractive lady and you may know that she is married to a famous actor, Kevin Bacon.
The leading character is a man named Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) who was sent to Sing Sing Correctional Facility two years ago for having stolen the famous Monarch diamond from a powerful real estate executive, David Englander (Ed Harris). Englander had come upon hard times in his business, but was bailed out when Lloyds of London, the insurer of the Monarch diamond, paid him $49 million upon the loss of his diamond. He theorized that Cassidy had cut the diamond down to several smaller pieces and sold them off. Nick Cassidy had always claimed that he was innocent, and had appealed for his release. We first meet Nick in prison, hearing the news that his appeal had been denied, and he faces a sentence of 25 years in prison for his offense.
Elizabeth Banks - Wikimedia
Nick Attends His Father’s Funeral
Upon the death of Nick’s father, Frank Cassidy, Nick was allowed to attend his father’s funeral under the scrutiny of two policemen. Nick’s brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and Joey’s girlfriend, Angie (Genesis Rodriguez) also attended the funeral. Nick and Joey got into a fight at the cemetery. It came to light later that the fight was staged, because Joey was able to escape by hijacking a car in the funeral line. A traditional car chase took place, starting the film on the road to thrills and suspense.
A Man Appears on the Ledge
Nick was seen next, in civilian garb, getting a hotel room at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City under the name of Walker. In Room 2105, Nick had room service bring him a nice dinner, probably the nicest he had in a long time. He then proceeded to open the window and stepped out on the narrow ledge which stretched the length of four sides of the building. A crowd started to gather twenty-one floors down on the street below.
Anthony Mackie - Wikimedia
Joey and Angie Help Out
The viewer soon learns that Nick’s caper was simply a diversionary tactic, because Joey and Angie were across the street making their way secretly into the inner quarters of David Englander Securities, where they all believed Englander was keeping the Monarch diamond hidden from the world. Much of the film is devoted to the sight of Joey and Angie crawling through tunnels and elevator shafts in an effort to get to Englander’s private office. They have had to bring drills and explosives, and mechanisms which would negate any light or heat sensors which the couple would inadvertently set off. The scheme had been in the planning stages for the previous year.
Edward Burns - Wikimedia
Nick Asks for a Certain Negotiator
When detective Jack Dougherty (Edward Burns) entered Room 2105 and was able to speak to “the man on the ledge,” he learned that Walker would only negotiate with detective Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks). Lydia had been in the news recently because she had failed to save a policeman who was threatening to commit suicide. No amount of discussion would dissuade him. Lydia was on leave after her failed mission, and reluctantly returned to work to negotiate with the man named Walker.
Speaking to Walker through the window, Lydia was able to make a connection with him, and at one point shared a cigarette with him. When he returned the cigarette, she passed it on to Jack Dougherty to check the DNA, as they could find no report on a person named Walker. The crowd below continued to grow, and cheered the man on from below.
Nick had some ear mechanism which allowed him to speak with his brother Joey who was busy across the street making his way to Englander’s office. At one point, a minor explosion occurred in that building, directing the detectives’ attention to the fact that the two incidents might be related.
Ed Harris - Wikimedia
Nick Cassidy Revealed
The cigarette revealed that escaped felon Nick Cassidy was the man on the ledge. Lydia called him by name at that point, and he declared to her that he had been framed by Englander for the theft of the Monarch diamond. Lydia had a woman’s sense that Nick was telling the truth. She said to Jack Dougherty “He’s either an honest man or a sociopath.”
Joey and Angie Open the Safe
Meanwhile, Joey and Angie had reached the safe in Englander’s office and with their tools and knowledge, were able to open the walk-in safe. There were many jewels in the safe, but the couple were unable to find the Monarch diamond. They deliberately set off an alarm which caused Englander to run to his office and head for a smaller safe where he retrieved the diamond, placing it in his breast pocket.
Lydia, now fighting for Nick’s clearance, had done some research and learned that three policeman were corrupt and involved with Englander at the time of the theft. One was killed; his name was Joe Walker, the name which Nick took on when he signed into the hotel. The second one was Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie) who had been a close friend of Nick on the force, and was unaware that Nick would be blamed for the theft. The third was Marcus (Titus Welliver) who was on the detail covering Room 2105 at the Roosevelt Hotel. The three policeman were aware all along that Englander still had the diamond. Mike Ackerman came unannounced to Room 2105 to inform Lydia Mercer that some papers were unearthed in Nick’s jail cell indicating that he was planning to set off some explosives. He tried to talk to Nick through the window, but Jack Dougherty sent him away.
Kyra Sedgwick - Wikimedia
Nick is Befriended by the Concierge
Joey and Angie were able to overcome Englander and to wrest the diamond from his breast pocket. They managed to hand it in a leather bag to the concierge at the hotel. Meanwhile, Nick had left the ledge and evaded the detectives in his room. On his way to the lobby, the concierge cheered him on, gave him a bellhop’s uniform jacket and slipped him the diamond on his way out. When the authorities realized that the diamond had been in Englander’s possession all that time, they whisked him away quickly.
Something stuck in my mind that did not make sense. I thought I missed something. But it all came together at the end, and I was assured that my question was legitimate. Watch the film and see if you come up with the same question at the very end. Careful attention will give you the answer.