"...an uneventful game of chicken."
THE LEDGE (2022)
THE "IMDB" PREMISE:
"A climber trapped on the face of a mountain fights off four killers stood on an overhanging ledge twenty feet above her."
OUR [TO THE POINT] REVIEW:
Everyone loves a good thriller. The key word there is good. Despite an interesting premise, Saban Film’s The Ledge anything but.
What starts off as a rock-climbing adventure between two young women turns into a nightmare when four seemingly harmless men arrive. When something happens between one of the men and one of the women, however, she winds up killed by all four men. After capturing the murder on tape, the remaining young woman attempts to hide from the men by scaling a nearby mountain. When the men follow her, she’s forced to play a game of cat and mouse on one of the world’s most unpredictable terrains.
As you can probably imagine, the film’s title serves a couple of purposes. For one, it’s the part of the mountain where the men physically corner the woman for a vast majority of the film. Secondly, it’s a metaphor for how far each man is willing to go to protect their reputation at home. Unfortunately, that’s where the film’s brilliance comes to an end.
Now, I half expected this to be a revenge thriller. I thought the girl would climb up the mountain and lure the men to each of their deaths. Not to spoil anything, but quite the opposite happens. I will say that I appreciated the fact that the film dives right into the action. Within the first 10 minutes, the story takes off. Once our main character climbs that wall and sets the film’s plot in motion, the story peaks but it’s only downhill from there.
Before I continue, I also want to say that I enjoyed the performance by the main actress, Brittany Ashworth. As the film goes on, she really does a fine job at shedding her layers and helping the audience understand her trauma. Sadly, even though she is the film’s protagonist, her story becomes eclipsed by the four frat boy antagonists and their ever-growing expository plotlines.
Quite frankly, I was frustrated by just how many revelations the group of so-called friends had. Even though the film does rotate rather evenly between them and the young woman they are chasing, it feels like every time we revisit them something crazy is revealed or something even crazier happens.
For example, there’s a character who gets stabbed by the woman and learns that his girlfriend has been cheating on him with another one of the guys - all within the span of a few minutes. Not once does he have a change of heart though. And that pretty much summarizes how little sense this movie makes.
Logic aside, I also had a hard time understanding what was going with the film spatially too. Sometimes it looks like the characters are leagues above the ground. Other times, it looks like they are feet. I swear that there’s a character who falls down an entire cliff in the film and only breaks his leg. It’s a moment that makes me think that those elders who jumped from that cliff in Midsommar shouldn’t have died at all.
While it’s easy to put the blame on a bogus green screen, I put all of the blame on the editor. In addition to the lead actress, the direction is also one of the film’s redeeming qualities. However, the editing is almost awful enough to convince you otherwise. It’s not only that some sequences don’t flow smoothly into each other. Some of the film’s most crucial scenes are also cut short. Going back to the sequence where one of the guys is stabbed, it all happens over the course of a minute. Because it happens so quickly, the tension is lost and it winds up being just another one of the film’s forgettable vignettes.
I guess my biggest gripe with The Ledge is that it did not have more fun with its concept. What could have been a fun cat and mouse game turns into an uneventful game of chicken. While it does peak and it peaks early, it eventually hits rock bottom.