Hey folks, Valkor here. Hmm… thinking about the past films I've seen in relation to film I'm about to review, I can honestly say I've never seen a Terrence Howard film. Ok I've seen him in Iron Man, but that's about it. And looking at his IMDB listing, the dude has starred and co-starred in countless films and televisions series and I haven't seen him in any of them. And he's an impressive actor as seen in the latest film to cross the TOV desk, The Ledge, which not only stars Howard, but Liv Tyler and Charlie Hunman. Charlie Hunman? Who the heck is that!!!??
The Ledge puts Howard into the role of Hollis, a police officer who just found out that he is incapable of having children, yet he has two - a boy and a girl. So whose kids are they? It's what's eating him up inside, when he's sent in to deal with a ledge jumper. Enter Gavin (Charlie Hunman). Actually the film is all about Gavin as it's his story that needs to be told. You see, Gavin is about to take his own life. Why? Well that's why Hollis is there, though he really doesn't wanna be there, he's kinda stuck. Talking with Gavin, he learns that Gavin isn't there by choice and that's when the story kicks in.
Flashback a few days ago, Gavin meets the beautiful Shana (Liv Tyler) and his world is about to change forever as he falls head over heels for her. However Shana is married to a deeply religious man named Joe (Patrick Wilson). How deep? Gavin is the assistant manager at a nearby hotel and he hires Shana as a maid. As a thank you, Joe invites him and his roommate Chris (Chris Gorham) over for dinner, where he assumes the two are lovers and prays for their souls. That didn't go over well. But Joe persists in trying to sell Gavin on the lord, but Gavin has some views of his own and putting the two together... they sorta clash.
Fast-forward, Gavin and Shana fall in love and have an affair, which sends Joe overboard. Joe gives Chris an Ultimatum: either he offs himself or Shana bites the bullet (literally). And he has until noon to decide, with the clock winding down.
And there is where I leave you – Gavin making a decision to take his own life to save Shana or go on living. At the same time Hollis must also make a decision – does he forgive his wife for what she has done or make the best of it?
With that in mind, let's switch gears towards the TOV Breakdown!
I can sum up The Ledge in just one word: Compelling! Once you start watching you're completely invested in the story and its outcome. It moves at an even pace, some slow down when we enter Gavin/Shana territory, but nothing too boring. I thought there'd be more dialogue between Hollis and Gavin, imagine my surprise when it's all about Gavin's past with Shana. The acting is the films strongest selling point and everyone goes beyond their "A" game in this one, specifically Charlie Hunman, who is the kinda guy I wanna hang out with. His Gavin character is mellow and always happy, with a bit of a dark past, but overall just a fun loving guy. To compete against Gavin's light is Patrick Wilson's Joe, who is evil encompassing; no one nice smiles the like that. I was scared of the guy when I first saw him and as we delve further into his deep rooted religious psyche, he's almost… demonic. Great job! Now Terrence Howard, he doesn't get to do too much, but he totally makes the best of his role as Hollis. And I'm happy with the decision Hollis made at the end with his wife and kids, it's kinda nice and adds a warm spin to such a dark film. Oh and Liv Tyler is PerfectView impressive (thank you for the boobie shots), but she's got some mighty fine acting chops attached to those awesome bewbs.
Chalk this up to me being nitpicky, but I feel the need to get this off my chest. You have a character named Chris, who's gay and HIV positive. Yet he goes on to have a physical relationship with another man. So, why even bother allowing the character to have the disease? It might put some people off just a tad. I'm not saying people with HIV shouldn't have sex, but come on, going in, if you knew the man or women you're about to plow and or get plowed had the HIV, would you go through with it? Yea, me neither.
The Ledge is an extraordinary, compelling and entertaining film that's worth the price of admission. I didn't even go over the heavy religious overtones; I'm not a religious person, but that sorta talk didn't detract me from enjoying this film. And out of TOV 5 stars, I'm giving The Ledge a 4.5. And its been Valkor Viewed, TOV Approved!