14: The Ledge (don’t do it! Please, dont!)

The Ledge – May 26, 2011
Starring: Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Terrence Howard, Charlie Hunnam
Written and directed by: Matthew Chapman

The plot: “A thriller in which a battle of philosophies between a fundamentalist Christian and an atheist escalates into a lethal battle of wills. Ultimately, as a test of faith, or lack of it, the believer forces the non-believer onto the ledge of a tall building. He then has one hour to make a choice between his own life and someone else’s. Without faith in an afterlife, will he be capable of such a sacrifice?” – Foresight at IMDB

My thoughts: This movie had such potential. It had a good premise with a lot of room for stimulating, intellectual thought. But the philosophical ideas brought up were so…Philosophy 101. The debates between atheism versus fundamental Christianity were accessible, which I guess is a good thing. It might make an audience who wasn’t actively seeking out a deep film open their eyes to new ideas without being overwhelmed.

Terrence Howard’s plot was a bit extraneous, definitely not integral to the main movement of the film. Patrick Wilson was excellent at being an overbearing, patriarchal, sexist husband to the quiet damsel-in-distress, trapped Liv Tyler. And Charlie Hunnam (known to the internet as “The Poor Man’s Heath Ledger”) was not so good as the main character, Gavin. His emotion always seemed to be the same – a smug asshole.

But my main qualm with the film? Gavin is standing on the edge of a building talking to a cop. He’s got a solid hour or two to change his situation and instead? He tells his entire God damn life story to the cop. To me, nothing is worse than making stupid protagonists. In this context, Gavin is painted as an intelligent human being – he seeks out information and spends time postulating. And for the sake of plot, I’m supposed to believe that he’s still stupid enough not to try to change his situation? I don’t buy it.

The only reason I don’t mind that I watched this movie, in all honesty, is that Patrick Wilson is hot hot hot, even when he’s a Bible thumper.

Stars: 1/5

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