Movie review: ‘The Ledge’
At 10:30 one morning, hotel manager Gavin (Charlie Hunnam) steps out on to the ledge of a tall building facing an old church with a clock on its tower. He plans to jump before noon. Hollis (Terrence Howard), a policeman trained to deal with such situations, quickly discerns that Gavin is being forced to commit suicide. Drawing out Gavin triggers a series of flashbacks.
Such is the promising premise of writer-director Matthew Chapman’s “The Ledge,” a film that’s ultimately sabotaged by its own heavy-handed screenplay.
Eventually we learn that Gavin lives in an apartment house across the hall from Shana (Liv Tyler) and her husband, Joe (Patrick Wilson). Shana applies for work at a hotel, not knowing Gavin is the manager, and is hired as a maid. Soon Shana and Joe invite Gavin and his gay roommate (Christopher Gorham) for dinner. Wrongly assuming they are lovers, Joe, a religious fundamentalist, offers up a prayer for their salvation. Gavin decides to liberate Shana from her fanatic husband and soon seduces her.
Here are the ingredients for a neo-noir, but Chapman, a preachy and verbose writer, piles on so much woe in his characters’ back stories as to be risible.
Despite a capable cast and attractive Baton Rouge, La., locales photographed by Bobby Bukowski, “The Ledge” suffers from a seriously flawed script that’s just too implausible to be taken seriously.
“The Ledge.” No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. At Laemmle’s Sunset 5, West Hollywood.
Your essential guide to the arts in L.A.
Get Carolina A. Miranda's weekly newsletter for what's happening, plus openings, critics' picks and more.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.