Here’s another old review I found in the depths of my Facebook page. This was a good little movie that I think a lot of people missed. Read on, then check out this movie on Netflix. This was originally written on February 23rd, 2012. Enjoy!
Maybe you were like me, saw the trailers for this movie and thought, "But I saw 'Phone Booth' and it really was 90 minutes of Colin Farrell stuck in a phone booth while Keifer Sutherland harasses him on the phone. I am not going to see a movie that is 90 minutes of Sam Worthington on a ledge while Elizabeth Banks chats him up." Okay - admittedly a justified reaction to the original trailer. What got me interested were the later commercials that showed there would clearly be other things happening, not just ledge-work and chatting. This movie is a simple action-heist 90 minute popcorn-fest. It's not complicated, it's not heavy, and it has a neat little twist at the end.
In terms of plot summary, Worthington plays Nick Cassidy, an ex-cop and current escaped convict who gets a fancy hotel room in New York City, then threatens to jump to his death unless Elizabeth Banks's negotiator cop shows up. Eventually Ed Burns as another negotiator cop and Anthony Mackie as Worthington’s ex-partner show up to make the situation more difficult. The whole thing is one part attempt to prove his innocence and one part cover for his brother (Jamie Bell) and his brother's girlfriend (Genesis Rodriguez) stealing something from Ed Harris's generic evil banker-type in the next building over.
The movie is directed by Asger Leth - who has previous directed The Five Obstructions and Ghosts of Cite de Soleil (what?). He does a good job with this movie. Once it gets going, it stays going, maintaining a brisk pace all the way through. I found myself very into the story and not sure where it would go next.
- Worthington is the same as he usually is - wooden. Although I will say that he seemed to be a little more loose and relaxed in this movie than I have seen him lately. I am sure I will recant that statement when Wrath of the Titans comes out later this year. He does spend most of the movie on that ledge, yelling and bargaining and stalling. I have to say, I’m not entirely sure how they shot this, but he really seems to be on that ledge.
- Elizabeth Banks was better than you expect. She always is, and I think she’s more talented than anyone is giving her credit for. However, if you want to see her at her best - rent The Next Three Days.
- Jamie Bell steals most of this movie as he does almost everything he's in. He is incredibly watchable - and almost hid his accent through the whole piece, though since both he and Worthington struggled a bit with that, it just made them seem more like brothers.
- Genesis Rodriguez doesn’t have much to do but be sassy, which she is pretty good at. Previous to this movie, she has done a bunch of Entourage episodes.
- Anthony Mackie was very good, and continues to be good in everything I see him in. He did steal the pieces of the movie that Jamie Bell missed. He shows up to be supportive for his ex-partner…or does he?
- Ed Burns plays the other negotiator, who is not convinced that Elizabeth Banks is the correct negotiator for the case, but since the guy on the ledge is asking for her, he gets her. He’s very New York irish-y, and always great. Check out Confidence if you haven’t seen it.
- Ed Harris's villian was the same as all the current wall-street type banker villians that are the current go-to bad guys.
All in all - I really enjoyed this movie! The scenes on the ledge are nerve-wracking and will keep your heart rate accelerated, especially if you have any vertigo issues. The action sequences, chase scenes, and the heist piece are all well done and exciting. It was short, small, low-key in its marketing, and didn't make any promises it didn't live up to, which makes me happy!
7 out of 10 – Gained points for Jamie Bell, lost points for Genesis Rodriguez being nearly naked for no reason. Gained points for the big ending twist, but lost points because I picked up on it very early on - but if you're not as big a fan of Bill and Ted 2nd Excellent Adventure (where they play games with Death), and Die Hard 2 as I am - then you won't pick up on the twist, and the end will really surprise you!
Bonus Video 1: Phone Booth
Bonus Video 2: Elizabeth Banks in The Next Three Days
Bonus Video 3: Ed Burns in Confidence
Bonus Video 4: Cast interviews: