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Blu-ray Review: The Ledge
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The Ledge Blu-rayThe Ledge
Blu-ray | DVD
Directed by: Matthew Chapman
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Terrence Howard, Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler
IFC/MPI Home Video
Release Date: September 27, 2011

Movies and faith, when blended well together, make magical partners.  Be it great pieces based around specific biblical events or narratives surrounding those who may be questioning their own faith due to hardships encountered in their lives, cinema plays as a wonderful vessel for filmmakers looking at giving the world distinct and singular takes on what makes organized religion so pertinent in today’s culture.

The Ledge isn’t that film.

Directed by Matthew Chapman, The Ledge tells the story of a police officer who, after being told that a man is looking to jump from a building, runs to save the man, only to delve into the world that ultimately sent the man to his sky high state.  However, as we learn more and more about the atheist who is looking to leap to his impending doom, we discover that not all is right with the officer who is talking him down, both familial, and faith-wise.  Toss in a haphazard love story, Cruel Intentions-like sexual games, and some half-assed philosophy, and you have the best way to describe this dreadfully dull bit of preaching.

The Ledge stars one hell of a cast, it’s just too bad not a single one of them gives a worthwhile performance.  The film stars Liv Tyler, Charlie Hunnam, Patrick Wilson, and Terrence Howard, and feels as alive as a brick tossed through the window of a house.  Wilson gives the most intriguing performance, playing the role of Tyler’s husband, a religious fundamentalist with a shady past.  The born-again tag fits his character definitively, and the idea of this man preaching to an atheist, based upon his past, is quite intriguing.

However, the opposite end doesn’t fit. Hunnam plays Gavin, our lead, a man with an equally troubled past, but a belief structure wholly different. Hunnam is out of his depth with this type of material, a script that while touching on some interesting issues, feels blunt, dated, and frankly, wholly uninteresting.  Each line is given this distinct earnestness, that while it may fit the dour material, it makes for a comical turn when the narrative is beyond campy.  Tyler and Howard are equally poor here, but aren’t asked enough of to truly make to many waves about it.  One is expected to be a doting wife, whilst the other plays as the audience proxy, nothing more and nothing less.

Directorially, the film is empty of anything remotely interesting.  Chapman does what he can with this material, which he himself also penned, but The Ledge has little to no stylistic flourishes, making this slog of a narrative even more pertinent. Chapman’s script is slow moving and preachy, as is the direction, which simply lays what occurs out on the screen in the most simplistic of ways.  Whereas most neo-noirs not only have something interesting to say as well as saying it with the utmost style (read: Brick), The Ledge is empty both of those attributes.

The Experience:

The Blu-ray looks and sounds fine.  The source material obviously isn’t in the worst of shape, and the blu-ray really pops with its top notch audio and really good transfer.  That being said, the film itself lacks a great score and has even worse cinematography, so what you’ll be watching isn’t the most artistic of motion pictures.

Features:

Absolutely nonexistent.  Including a trailer and some interviews, the release is wholly empty of anything remotely intriguing.

Overall, The Ledge is simply a sloppy film.  Slow moving without much of an interesting destination, the film lacks style, heart, and you know, a good performance, and instead features a preachy script, turgid filmmaking, and second-tier acting.

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