Religion Bad, Atheism Good, Says Quasi-Thriller The Ledge


Before being tasked with talking down a suicide jumper, police officer Terrence Howard learns that he has always been sterile—so whose kids has he been raising? It’s a hokey subplot meant to supplement the phony clock-ticking suspense on the titular overhang of The Ledge. It’s worth noting here that writer-director Matthew Chapman—whose screenwriting credits include Runaway Jury and Color of Night—is the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, as his melodramatic and convoluted thriller is merely a vehicle for airing his atheist grudges. Lazily framed as a long-form flashback, godless hotel manager Charlie Hunnam—the actual star of the show—recalls to the devout Catholic cop why he’s forced to stand two steps from doom: It’s that horrible born-again Christian (Patrick Wilson), oppressive husband to Liv Tyler’s sad college-student wife. When our troubled young nonbeliever falls for Liv, the neighborly love triangle turns into an ugly theological debate between good guy Charlie and Wilson’s gay-bashing, despicably self-righteous, utterly vindictive sociopath. Even if The Ledge couldn’t be written off as a hollow polemic, there’s also the lifeless drama, laughable dialogue, chintzy sets, and poor lighting to grapple with. Lord help us.