16 Blocks Reviews
Essentially this is just a contemporary update of the Eastwood film The Gauntlet, and, despite it being rather generic, formulaic, and predictable, I still enjoyed it, had a good time, and found enough stuff to like to give it a recommendation. I'm giving it an extra half star (basically a barely made it B-) because I dug the character interactions, and appreciated that this wasn't entirely an over-the-top action fest.
Willis is pretty decent as basically an older, more human, more vulnerable, less wisecrackin' John McClane and he conveys the feelings of regret, depression, and being burnt out very well. As the witness Eddie Bunker (named after real life criminal turned actor Edward Bunker) Mos Def is a mumbling motormouth, and he seriously spends almost all of his screentime talking nonstop, and, despite being rather annoying, he didn't come off as grating like the types of characters Chris Tucker plays, and he is also somewhat likeable. David Morse is less developed and fleshed out in his role as Mosley's former partner/the chief antagonist, but he does okay.
The movie is lacking a super strong plot (as far as the specifics and motivations go), but the performances and character interactions are good, the action is fine, and it's never boring. Give it a watch, like as a rainy day boredom sort of thing.
Mos Def also delivers an outstanding performance through the use of his accent and his hilarious anecdotes throughout the movie. He adds a lot of depth to his character and to the movie as a whole. Thus, the audience is able to sympathize with him. Overall, this movie was excellent and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a great fast paced thriller
All he wanted to do was go home and get a drink.
But at 8:02 a.m., hungover NYPD detective Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis) is assigned a seemingly simple task. Petty criminal Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) is set to testify before a grand jury at 10:00 a.m. and needs to be taken from lock-up to the courthouse, 16 blocks away. It should take Jack 15 minutes to drop him off at the courthouse and get home.
But when assassins try to take Eddie out, Jack realizes there's more to this assignment than he'd anticipated and he calls for backup. Homicide detective Frank Nugent (David Morse) and his team are first to arrive at the scene. Eddie suddenly goes pale. One of the detectives on Nugent's team is the man he is supposed to testify against. In an instant, Jack's quick trip downtown turns into the nightmare of a lifetime: the criminals that want Eddie dead are actually cops.
16 Blocks is right up Richard Donner's alley, the helmer of the Lethal Weapon franchise so its no surprise that he nailed this film from the get-go. This time however, there's no buddy cops and psychopathic albino jack rabbits involved, its only a man and his prisoner against a hundred renegade NYPD cops. The man, Jack Mosely is portrayed by Bruce Willis, the everyman hero who is assigned a seemingly easy task that turns awry in a quick second, it is no doubt that Bruce has mastered the role of being a cop well with the success of the Die Hard saga and a couple of stand alone cop roles in some other films. The only thing that's different from his other cop roles is that he's not bald. Bald or not bald, he still kicks ass.
The prisoner, Eddie Bunker is portrayed by Mos Def, a surprising turn from the rapper but effective nonetheless. The plot is an amazing thrill ride with the perfect combination of action and suspense and a couple of mild comedy here and there. It is a tense ride from start to finish and you will not be disappointed.
Don't you hate that we are getting older? Bruce Willis is meant to look like he is on the cusp of retirement, but he looks old!