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MAN ON A LEDGE

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NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Dukes.

The film opens with a shot of Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington) exiting the subway and entering the Roosevelt Hotel.  He checks in under the name “Walker.”  He orders a fancy dinner, then wipes down all the silverware and glasses when he’s finished eating.  Then he opens the window and climbs out onto the ledge that runs along the exterior of the building.  He is 20 stories or more up in the air, and it’s not long before people on the street see him standing up there and call the cops.

Cut to Sing Sing prison, one month earlier.  Nick is getting beat up by a bunch of other inmates.  He meets with a councilor who tells him that his appeals are exhausted and he’s looking at a sentence of 25 years in jail, a tough bid for an ex-cop.

Mike Ackerman (Anthony Mackie), Nick’s ex-partner, comes to visit.  Ackerman seems sympathetic, telling Nick he will dig up new evidence to prove Nick’s innocence.  Also, he says Nick’s father is dying.

Cut to Nick’s father’s funeral.  After the service, Nick asks his brother Joey (Jamie Bell) “Is this the best you can do?  A view of the train tracks?”  Joey says, “It’s your fault dad is dead,” and they get in a fistfight.  The guards who escorted Nick to the cemetery try to pull them apart, and Nick grabs their guns and makes everybody lie on the ground.  He shoots out the guard’s tires and takes off in Joey’s SUV. 

The guards immediately radio for help and Nick is chased by three cop cars.  Nick bashes through the cemetery gates, and speeds towards the train tracks.  A train is coming and Nick barely makes it across the tracks in time, trapping the cops on the other side of the train.  Nick heads to a storage facility where he retrieves a fake ID and some credit cards and cash.

Back to the Roosevelt Hotel, present time.  Cops and emergency vehicles have blocked off the street because of the “jumper.”  Dante Marcus (Titus Welliver) handles everything on ground level while Jack Dougherty (Ed Burns) heads upstairs to try to talk to Nick.  Nick says he will only speak with Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks).

The phone rings in Lydia’s apartment.  She is still in bed, and she tells Dougherty she’s not supposed to be on duty.  He says she has to come down to the Roosevelt anyway.

Back at the hotel, the cops are laying out a giant air mattress, but they don’t think Nick has much chance of hitting it if he jumps.  They also chat with the valet, who says that Nick gave him a $200 tip.  The valet says, “He had honest eyes.” 

Lydia rolls up, looking exhausted.  Most of the cops are being snotty to her, including Dougherty.  She asks what Dougherty knows about the “jumper” – is he wearing a wedding ring, has he made any demands, etc.  Then she leans out the window to talk to Nick.

Nick says, “Today is the day that everything changes, one way or another.  I’m ready to die, it’s important that you understand that.”  Lydia says, “Why did you ask for me?”  Nick says, “You’re famous - I want a good crowd for when I go off.”

Cut to Ackerman, who is still trying to find out where Nick went after he busted out of the cemetery.  He tells the other cops to look at the financial records of Nick’s family to see if there are any recurring charges.

Cut to David Englander (Ed Harris), who is talking on the phone in his office.  An associate comes in and gives Englander an expensive watch.  Englander asks if the associate handled the problem that Englander asked him to handle.  The associate says no.  Englander flings the watch against the wall and yells, “Then get it done!”

Back to Dougherty, who passes Lydia a note saying there are no fingerprints in Nick’s hotel room – thus, they still don’t know who Nick is.  Lydia says to Nick, “This isn’t a normal suicide, is it?”  Nick looks down and sees that his brother Joey and Joey’s girlfriend Angie are down on the street.  He tells Lydia, “I saw you on the news with that cop who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge last month.”  Lydia says, “I don’t sleep since then.”  Apparently that is why all the other officers are being rude to her – because she didn’t prevent the cop from jumping.

Back to Englander, who is meeting with a big group of investors.  The investors are 20 minutes late because the street was blocked off.

Meanwhile, Joey and Angie are climbing the fire escape of the building across the street from the Roosevelt Hotel.  They have duffle bags on their backs.  Joey speaks into a little microphone on his collar and says, “Can you see me?”  Nick replies, “Yup,” into his own microphone.

Joey and Angie drill small holes in the roof of the building.  They drop in charges, then cover the little bombs with an old mattress.  Joey says, “You can still walk away from this.”  Angie says, “We’ve been planning this for a year.  I’m beyond committed.”  Joey says, “Ready,” in his microphone.

Nick starts yelling and waving his arms so everyone on the street looks up at him.  He pretends like he’s going to jump.  While he’s distracting everyone, Joey and Angie blow the charges.  They drop their duffle bags and themselves through the resultant hole into the air ducts.

When Lydia sees that Nick is not really going to jump, she offers to share her last cigarette with him.  They pass the smoke back and forth, and Lydia takes the last drag.  Then she passes the cigarette back to Dougherty to get a fingerprint.

Across the street, Joey and Angie break into the elevator control box and override the system so the elevator heads down to ground level.  Then they rappel down the shaft.

Meanwhile, a news helicopter swoops in so close to Nick that it nearly blows him off the building.  His face is splashed all over the news, and Ackerman realizes who the jumper is.  At the same time, he receives a call from a fellow cop who has discovered a recurring charge on Joey’s credit card: the storage unit.

Joey and Angie have broken into the building and need to bypass more security.  They have to make it down a long hallway that is under video surveillance, so they put canvas sheets over their backs that are the same color as the tiles, then slowly glide down the hallway on skateboards.  The sheets render them virtually invisible on the security monitors.

Meanwhile, Lydia Mercer tells Dougherty, “Something’s off.  He’s waiting for something.  We need that ID from the fingerprint.”  Then she asks Nick, “What’s really going on here?”

Back to the building across the street.  Joey and Angie need to bypass another video camera, so Joey sticks a camera underneath and takes a picture of the empty hallway.  Then he prints off the photo, and hangs it in front of the video camera.  They are about to enter the next room, but Angie notices a sensor on the ceiling that must have been installed recently, because it’s not in their plans.

Joey tells Nick about the sensor.  Lydia is talking to Nick at the same time, and he doesn’t want her to know about the microphone, so he pretends he is responding to her questions while he gives hints to Joey.  “It’s hot,” Nick says, “I need to cool off.”  Lydia can tell he’s up to something, but Joey understands that the sensor is thermal and he needs to cool it somehow.  Angie grabs the fire extinguisher, and they spray the sensor.

Meanwhile, Ackerman has found Nick’s storage shed.  He finds a bunch of police files, including one on himself, one on Nick, and one on a guy named “Walker.”  Ackerman burns the files.

Dougherty has finally gotten the ID from the fingerprint they took off the cigarette.  He tells Lydia that Nick is the cop who went to jail for stealing a $40 million diamond.  Lydia says, “The jewelry exchange that diamond was stolen from is right across the street, and guy he stole it from, Englander, has his offices in the Roosevelt Hotel.  This isn’t a coincidence.”

Dougherty passes all this information on to Dante Marcus on ground level, and Dante calls the security officers in the jewelry exchange across the street.  He tells them to go upstairs and make sure everything is okay.  The guards say Englander’s shop is closed for the day.  Dante says, “Check it out anyway.”

Meanwhile, Englander is giving a big speech to a bunch of investors.  He says two years earlier he had a precious jewel stolen from him, but now he has an even bigger jewel, the new building he is about to open.  His assistant interrupts to tell him that the jumper across the street is Nick Cassidy.

Lydia tells Nick, “I know who you are.”  Nick says, “David Englander set me up.  I’m going to prove I’m innocent.  This is my real trial.”

Meanwhile, Joey and Angie are cutting a hole in the wall, and Nick warns them that the security guards are on their way upstairs. They clean up as fast and possible, but Angie is trying to stick something above the keypad to the vault room.  It won’t stick, and the guards are almost upstairs.  She finally gets it in place, and jumps back in the air vents just in time.

When the security guards open the door to the vault room, Angie gets the combination from the tiny camera she stuck above the keypad.  The guards check out the vault room, and everything appears to be fine.  They head back downstairs.

Lydia tells Dougherty, “I think Cassidy really believes he’s innocent.  Which means he’s either an honest man or a sociopath.”  She asks Nick, “Why would Englander frame you?”  Nick says, “He always uses cops to guard his merchandise.  I was on guard that day, and two guys in ski masks knocked me out.  Englander just smiled while it happened.”  Lydia says, “You told the jury that, but there was no evidence.”  Nick says, “Englander lost all his money when the market crashed.  But he wouldn’t sell his diamond because he’s too proud.  So he reported it stolen, collected the insurance money, and now he’s back stronger than ever and he gets to keep his diamond too.”  Lydia says, “Then who were the guys in the ski masks?”  Nick says, “I don’t know, but like I said, Englander always used cops.”

Ackerman rolls up to the Roosevelt Hotel and tells Dougherty he has a bunch of papers from Nick’s cell in Sing Sing.  Then he asks to speak with Nick.  Lydia is suspicious and won’t let him inside the hotel room.  Dougherty has warmed to Lydia, and he backs her up.

Lydia starts making phone calls.  She finds out that Nick was cooperating with Internal Affairs, investigating a cop named Walker who was suspected of stealing cocaine.  Walker was mysteriously killed before the investigation could be concluded.  Mercer says that Walker must have been working with somebody else – there must be a second dirty cop, and that cop would have reason to frame Nick, to cover up the cocaine theft.  While Lydia is investigating, the valet brings Nick a burger.

Across the street, Angie and Joey have reopened the hole in the wall, and Angie is all suited up to crawl inside, but she’s scared.  Joey says she has to do it because she can’t hold his weight.  She gets in the vent, but she’s shaking and moving too slow.  Nick pumps up the crowd so they are all cheering, and tells Angie they are cheering for her.  One scruffy-looking guy in the crowd says he believes Nick is innocent, and he yells especially loud.

Dougherty looks at the papers Ackerman brought, and they are bomb schematics.  Dougherty thinks that Nick has set a bomb somewhere, and he calls in the tactical team.  Nick asks Lydia to buy him some time.

Meanwhile, Angie is suspended from the ceiling of the vault room (the floor has seismic sensors) and has broken into the alarm panel.  Nick directs her as she cuts the wires, shutting off the floor sensors and opening the door for Joey to get inside.  Together, Angie and Joey drill through the vault door and pour in chemicals that freeze the lock.  They insert steel rods and shatter the tumbler inside the lock, and the vault swings open.  The vault is full of diamonds and jewelry, but the huge $40 million rock isn’t there.

Lydia is buying Nick more time before the tactical team busts in - she tells Dougherty that bomb protocol states that everybody should leave except the negotiator.  Nick asks Lydia, “Do you believe I’m innocent?”  She says, “It’s a possibility.”  Joey tells Nick the $40 million diamond is missing.  Nick says, “You know what to do.”  Lydia realizes Nick is talking to someone else.

An alarm goes off across the street.  Englander rushes away from his meeting and joins his security guards as they check out the vault.  They see the tools and all the evidence of the break-in.  Englander sends everybody out, then opens a secret safe in a side wall.  The $40 million diamond is inside, and he’s extremely relieved to see that it’s safe.  He puts the diamond in his pocket.

Meanwhile, Lydia has gone outside the hotel room to call Internal Affairs again.  Ackerman comes back upstairs, and tricks Dougherty into letting him inside.  Then he locks Dougherty out, and runs over to the window.  He tells Nick, “Let me help you.”  Nick says, “Are you involved in this?”

The tactical team has decided not to wait any longer, and they rappel down the side of the building.  Nick sees them coming, and he jumps on one of the guys and knocks him out.  Then he runs around the ledge to the other side of the building, breaks the window, and goes into a different hotel room.  He races over to the stairwell and hears cops running upstairs, so he goes the other way.  He runs down a service hallway, and then out a different door.

Over at the jewelry exchange, the guards notice the alarm was set off deliberately via a stack of heat packs under the thermal sensor.

Englander heads back to his office in the Roosevelt Hotel, only to find Joey and Angie waiting for him with guns.  They steal the $40 million diamond.  Englander says he’s going to kill them.  They laugh and take off.  On their way out of the hotel, they ask the valet to hold their bag for them.  The valet takes the bag, and slips the diamond into his pocket.

Lydia is still on the phone to Internal Affairs.  She asks who the other dirty cop is, besides Walker.  The IA agent says they don’t have enough evidence to prosecute anyone else.  Lydia says, “I don’t care about the evidence, tell me who you suspect.”  The IA agent says, “Mike Ackerman and Dante Marcus.”

The Valet meets Nick in the kitchen and passes him the diamond.  Meanwhile, Dante Marcus grabs Joey and Angie and starts beating on Joey, trying to get him to tell where the diamond is.

Nick is still being chased around the Roosevelt Hotel by the tactical team.  He climbs out another window and scales the side of the building, climbing all the way up to the roof.  Lydia runs up to the roof to keep anybody from shooting Nick.  Dante Marcus comes up and orders that Lydia be arrested.  Then he takes Nick into custody and tells everybody else to leave.  He calls Englander, who brings Joey up to the roof.  Englander says that Nick better give him the diamond or they’ll throw Joey off the roof.  Nick reluctantly passes Englander the diamond.  Englander says, “You lose again,” and heads downstairs.  Now Dante Marcus says that Nick has to jump off the roof or he’ll shoot Joey.

Meanwhile, Lydia snatches a gun from the nearest cop and takes the elevator back up to the roof.

At the same time, Ackerman is sneaking around on the roof as well.  He shoots Dante Marcus and Marcus shoots back.  Marcus is wearing a bulletproof vest, so he’s only knocked over, but Ackerman takes two in the chest.  Nick rushes over to help him, and Ackerman says, “I never knew they were going to set you up.  I couldn’t go to jail, man, I just couldn’t do it.”  Marcus has recovered and is about to shoot Nick, when Lydia arrives and shoots Marcus instead.

Nick runs to the edge of the roof and sees that Englander is getting away with the diamond.  There is no time to take the elevator down, so he takes a flying leap off the side of the Roosevelt Hotel, landing on the giant air mattress the cops set up hours earlier.  He chases after Englander, but just as he is about to grab him, a cop pulls a gun on Nick.  The scruffy guy from the crowd jumps on the cop, and Nick punches Englander, pulling the diamond out of his pocket for everyone to see.

Cut to Sing Sing.  Dougherty tells Lydia “I’d be proud to work with you again.”  Then the door buzzes, and Dougherty says, “Looks like the Governor came through.”  Nick has been released from prison.  Lydia picks him up and says, “So how did you get the diamond?”  Nick says, “Let’s go someplace quiet.”

Nick takes Lydia to a cop bar, full of officers who cheer when they see Nick has been set free.  Nick introduces Lydia to the bartender, who is also the valet from the Roosevelt Hotel.  “This is my dad,” Nick says.  Joey and Angie show up at the bar, and everybody hugs.  Joey gets down on his knee and proposes to Angie with a giant diamond ring, which he obviously stole from Englander’s vault while they were looking for the $40 million diamond.  Lydia says, “I’m going to assume that’s a family heirloom.”  Nick says, “It is now.”  Nick’s dad says, “Drinks for everybody!” and Lydia and Nick smile at each other and share a drink.

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