Man on a Ledge (4K Ultra HD)
The Sam Worthington thriller Man on a Ledge is now out on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack! Here's our review!
Note: The images in this review are official studio stills, not screenshots from the 4K UHD disc.
A convicted cop (Sam Worthington) breaks out of prison and climbs out onto a hotel ledge, in a bid to prove his innocence. Also stars Jamie Bell, Elizabeth Banks, Anthony Mackie, Genesis Rodriguez, and Ed Harris. Directed by Asger Leth.
Released in 2012, Man on a Ledge is a unique premise that really shouldn’t work. Thanks to some solid performances, however, the whole thing not only seems plausible, it’s fairly entertaining.
Wrongly-convicted cop Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) breaks out of prison and takes a perch on the ledge of a Manhattan hotel building, threatening to jump. He insists on speaking only to Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), a cop and negotiator looking for some redemption of her own. His stunt is merely a distraction, however, as he has a plan to prove his innocence, with a little help from his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) and his girlfriend Angie (Genesis Rodriguez).
The film also stars Ed Harris as David Englander, the billionaire developer who put Nick behind bars, Anthony Mackie as Nick’s former partner, and Edward Burns as a cop determined to put Nick back in jail. It’s an impressive cast, and they all do a respectable job elevating a script that takes several lapses in logic to move the plot along.
Joey and Angie plan to break into Englander’s vault, which contains evidence of Nick’s innocence. Through a series of rather far-fetched plot twists, they manage to get into the vault, but of course, things don’t go as planned.
Man on a Ledge manages to keep the tension going, even as the logic turns ludicrous. It will likely remind you of the TV show “Prison Break:” as the plot turns become even more improbable, it becomes more entertaining and suspenseful. As long as you buy into the far-fetched twists, you’ll enjoy the ride. It helps that the film has some great actors to sell it – lesser talent wouldn’t have been able to handle this.
The film isn’t quite as memorable as it should be, and director Asger Leth’s rather pedestrian direction is one of the main reasons. This film needed more visual style, and Leth doesn’t provide it. A little more emotional investment would have helped as well, so the payoff feels a bit empty. The movie gets a bit predictable, even when it throws in a twist, but at least it’s a fun predictability. Man on a Ledge is an entertaining ride, just not a classic one. Still, I’m always up for a rewatch.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
It should be noted that Man on a Ledge is not what some would call a “true” 4K release, as the video transfer comes from a 2K (1080 HD) master of the film, upscaled to 4K (2160p). With HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision included, however, we do get a marked improvement in video quality.
I already owned the HD version of the film, from the prior Blu-ray release, so it was easy to compare the two video presentations. The 4K transfer is a deeper, darker image, with noticeably more detail. The level of texture in the concrete buildings and interior sets show just how good this upscaled transfer interpreted the original film image.
There is some noticeable film grain, the amount of which varies in intensity scene to scene, no doubt thanks (at least in part) to Dolby Vision. I personally like film grain and what it brings to an image, and even in this upscaled transfer, we get an impressive level of natural colors and detail, where the original blu-ray made some faces look a bit waxy and provided a duller palette.
The audio is a pretty satisfactory Dolby Atmos track, even though the film itself isn’t an auditory feast. There are a few instances of excellent low-end, but the sound overall has a nice nuance, capturing the noise of the city and balancing it well with the dialogue throughout the channels.
There’s not much in the way of bonus features on the disc. There’s an interesting behind-the-scenes featurette, but not much else beyond that.
The extras included on the disc are:
“The Ledge” featurette. The logistics of filming on an actual New York City building is explored. The filmmakers created a novel solution that allowed for both realism and safety. It’s a very interesting featurette to watch after you’ve seen the film. Sam Worthington and director Asger Leth are interviewed. Worthington in particular discusses his fear of heights, which he used to make his performance more authentic. Running Time: 15:17
Trailer with commentary by Elizabeth Banks. The disc offers a nice twist on having the trailer included as a bonus feature, having Elizabeth Banks provide commentary for it. It’s a bit odd that the commentary isn’t optional, so you can’t just watch the trailer with the original audio. Running Time: 2:26
Digital Copy. A code for a digital copy of the film, redeemable on services including FandangoNow and VUDU, is included. According to 4Ksheet.com, at the time of this review, the code does not yet redeem a UHD version of the film, only HD. Lionsgate film codes often take several weeks (or longer) before a code from a 4K disc redeems in UHD. Lionsgate codes are not compatible with Movies Anywhere. We strongly suggest confirming that your code is compatible with your preferred service, and redeems in UHD, before redeeming it. Once used, your code cannot be used again.
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Running Time: 102 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audio: English Dolby Atmos, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Spanish
Special Features: “The Ledge” featurette, Theatrical Trailer with commentary, Digital Copy.