The hero of this red-herring heist flick draws two reactions from the throng beneath his 21st-floor perch on a Manhattan hotel. The first is the "Just get it over with" impatience of New Yorkers impeded by police barricades. The second is an unlikely populist solidarity among the 99-percenters below. Man on a Ledge is essentially a remake of the recent Tower Heist, with yet another band of blue-collar heroes trying to claw back the ill-gotten gains of an arrogant penthouse villain. Unfortunately, this film doesn't realize it's a comedy—like something pulled from the old files of Police Squad!, but played grindingly straight. Nick (the terminally bland Sam Worthington) is soon revealed to be a former NYC cop wrongfully imprisoned by a venal developer (Ed Harris), who just happens to have a jewelry vault across the street. By threatening to jump, Nick provides a diversion for his brother (Jamie Bell) to crack the safe that will presumably disgorge diamonds and exoneration. To stall for time, he requests a disgraced NYPD negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) to coax him down; sparks don't fly between them. Director-for-hire Asger Leth (Ghosts of Cité Soleil) does what he can with the predictable script, and there are nods to Occupy Wall Street and Dog Day Afternoon. But the whole thing plays like random outtakes from Law & Order, only without Chris Noth to save the day.
Meanwhile, away from the ledge, Bell and Genesis Rodriguez do some robbing.
Opens Fri., Jan. 27 at Metro and other theaters. Rated PG-13. 102 minutes.