Critics hated it; no kidding, the film title wasn’t at all inspiring. Added the trailer, I gave it a SKIP instinctively. I was wrong, so wrong. Now that I watched it, I liked it immensely and you don’t have to, cause everyone wears different lens when watching a movie. I don’t mean it should have won best original screenplay of any sorts, but in those minutes, I thought I was being thrown into freezing water, while surfacing, my dizzy mind had no time to process, but just let the events unfolded. One critical thing to enjoy this film is that you must be a fan of Sam Worthington…
This I call a meta-film(I just made it up). Meta- means it has to be watched at high level, i.e., don’t dwell on the minute details. Like riding a roll-coaster, the law of physics should be the last thing on one’s mind.
Nick Cassidy(Sam Worthington) is incarcerated at Sing Sing for 25 years: felony of stolen property. Mike Ackerman(Anthony Mackie) is his friend, and was his ex-partner at NYPD. Nick’s appeal has been denied. His father dies, and he is given one day excursion for his funeral. His brother, Joey Cassidy(Jamie Bell) and girlfriend, Angie(Genesis Rodriguez) are there at the cemetery. Ceasing the opportunity, Nick escapes. Nick checks into a nice hotel in mid-town Manhattan, has lobster and champagne for breakfast, and steps out the window, and now standing on the ledge. People beneath start to gather, some scream for help, cheer, bet, call him to jump, and the local media is now on site for live coverage.
Jack Dougherty(Edward Burns) is the commanding officer arrives at the hotel room. Nick demands negotiator, Lydia Mercer(Elizabeth Banks), to take over the case. A phone call wakes her, and she gets to the scene. The top brass for the situation is Dante Marcus(Titus Welliver).
David Englander(Ed Harris) is now a real estate tycoon and will be at a press conference in 2 hours to unveil his latest development. He was a jeweller before with all sort of connections with the high-ups. He lost a $40 million diamond 2 years ago, and that was the reason Nick is now in Sing Sing: a greedy cop got caught!??
The hotel Nick is standing on is right across Englander’s office across the street at 45 degrees. Joey and Angie are on their way to the building and break into the vault. It looks like a heist is on its way and Nick is the distraction ( as sold in the trailer).
When you simmer it all down, this is a good cop bad cop sundae with a dollop of corruption on top, get it?! Hence, my point earlier is whether you are a fan of Worthington, i.e., are you waiting for Nick to be an even worse cop, or you believe at the start he is nothing but good. Without this subconscious buy-in, I doubt this film would be as good. Imagine Colin Farrell, Bradley Cooper, Denzel Washington or Jean-Claude Van Damme on that ledge, the tone of the story will instantly change! In other words, the casting was the winner here. Banks, Burns and Worthington worked so well as a team here, not that their acting were earth-shattering, but they got the job done, and this film was more about the tightness of the plot than anything else.
Everything made sense at the meta level, and I was happy with it. It was smart and clever, with moments of reasonable doubts, especially with Nick’s close friend, Mike. A dash of suspense at the crossing line will certainly keeps you guessing and smiling: I knew it!
WATCH… tight plot that works; it seems effortless. Unlike some that were trying to hard that became big let downs at the end.