Movie Review: A Rock climber is chased onto “The Ledge”

The signs are all there — aggressive, hair-trigger-tempered creep comes on entirely too strong with women, bullies his friends.

He demonstrates that rape is most definitely a crime of violence, the victim “falls” and the fact that she survives that doesn’t matter. She’s a goner. One of his pals states the obvious.

“I TOLD you he’d do it again!”

“The Ledge” is a visceral, wildly implausible and all-too-obvious rock climbing thriller about a grieving woman chased up the face of Mount Anteleo, “The King of the Dolomites” (northern Italy) by a psychotic and his three friends.

Brittany Ashworth plays Kelly, mourning her late fiance and climbing mentor who died making this climb, witness to the murder of her climbing partner (Anaïs Parello), hounded up the rock face by homophobic, sociopathic and murderous Josh (Ben Lamb) and his reluctant accomplices.

Lamb makes a perfectly loathsome villain, and Ashworth is plainly fit enough to pull off the basics of the insanely unlikely stunts/predicaments her character is trapped in.

But this thriller lacks the breathless suspense of the chase. Most of it is static, Kelly trapped on “The Ledge” without what it takes to safely climb back down, with the bad guys on the ledge above her, taunting her and trying to kill her.

The villain may threaten, “I’m COMING for you, b—h!” He’s all talk, and standing around figuring out fresh ways to torment her rather than climbing down to “get” her

Ashworth dangles from this or that and catches her tumbling backpack with her foot, but we see little in the way of using “your mind, not your body” (advice from a flashback) to work the problem and pick off these “bros” one by one.

“The Ledge” has a simple set-up, a naturally perilous setting, a convincing heroine and a whole lot of hanging around, waiting for the next “That could never happen” narrow escape. The openly-foreshadowed payoff isn’t worth the viewing effort it takes to get to it.

Rating: R, violence including attempted rape, gore, profanity

Cast: Brittany Ashworth, Ben Lamb, Nathan Welsh, Louis Boyer, David Wayman and Anaïs Parello

Credits: Directed by Howard J. Ford, scripted by Tom Boyle. A Saban Films release.

Running time: 1:26

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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