‘Today’s the day that everything changes – one way or another.’ They’re the words of disgraced cop and escaped convict Nick (Sam Worthington) as he prepares to step on to the window ledge of a Manhattan hotel. Is he suicidal or is a plot afoot? It doesn’t take long to find out in this popcorn thriller that throws a conspiracy and a heist into the mix. It turns out Nick has been convicted of stealing a diamond from tycoon David Englander (Ed Harris), a villainous character who leaves us in no doubt as to Nick’s innocence. But the cops are far more concerned with preventing Nick from jumping several storeys in front of the baying crowds gathered for the show.
If the rubberneckers add a touch of much-needed believability, the realism ends there. The main action comes from a cunning plan involving Nick’s brother Joey, who, as played by Jamie Bell, is a more interesting character than his wobbly-accented sibling. While Nick is fobbing off police officer Lydia (a solid Elizabeth Banks), Joey and his clothes-shy girlfriend, Angie (Genesis Rodriguez), grapple with security cameras and wriggle through air ducts in a nearby building. There’s more than a whiff of the TV series ‘Prison Break’ about Joey’s protective-brother act, not to mention the tidy pace and brazen implausibilities that escalate towards a ridiculous ending. But preposterousness can be forgivable in a B-movie clock-ticker – at least to fans of the genre. This embraces its own lunacy readily enough, never aiming for anything more than the disposable thrills it delivers thick and fast.