- Richard Donner
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Perhaps his character is a bit exaggerated in this way: heís aging, alcoholic, limping, you name itÖ When assigned a last-minute task to escort a convict to a courthouse, where heíll testify, he doesnít take it good: heís been up all night working on another crappy assignment, the kind of which he gets a bunch lately.
But the witness turns out to be way more important than he supposed; Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) saw a dirty cop at work and is about to testify. That makes it impossible to walk him through 16 blocks, as the whole road is crawling with dirty cops trying to stop them. Sounds like a lot of fun! Yet, one wouldnít expect anything but an action flick, maybe even one with a videogame approach.
Well, Iím happy to report this is much more than that. The villains are complex (led by an excellent David Morse), the witness has his depth (even though Mos Def makes it rather unendurable) and Jack Mosley (Willis) is in desperate need of redemption, which is exactly what this mishap gives him, and makes us gradually like him more and more, until in the end we love him.
16 Blocks gave me the constant feel that itís low-profile. The effects and stunts arenít overplayed and the action is always intelligent (with a couple possible exceptions). Thereís a lot of drama thrown into the mix but it never takes first chair, so the pace isnít interrupted. And just when I thought Mosley was acting in an incoherent way, it turned out there was a lot of reason for what he was doing. I highly enjoyed the resolution, and his final showdown with Morse is memorable.
As I said, Mos Def is rather annoying though his character probably required it. Yet, for a movie where that character is required to speak constantly throughout, it gets tiresome. However it must be said that his interaction with Willis is priceless and they make up for a great movie team. This is another one of Willisí performances that make you wonder why he has stuck to the kind of films thatíll hardly propel him to serious praise and criticism.
Richard Donner is keeping up the good work, this time with a script by Richard Wenk; a good collaboration. Good music by Klaus Badelt, cinematography by Glen MacPherson and editing by Steve Mirkovich.
16 Blocks is fine entertainment but can hardly be raised to higher levels. Itís sure to guarantee a good time though!
ďFuck the truth!Ē
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