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This is not a remake of "The Gauntlet," though the theme is a familiar
one. There are, in fact, several movies with similar plots; "3:10 to
Yuma" and "Narrow Margin" come to mind. A reviewer emailed me that
"Midnight Run" not only has a story like "16 Blocks" but Bruce Willis'
character Jack Mosley has a name that is a composite of the movie names
for two of the leading roles in "Midnight Run": Robert De Niro's Jack
Walsh and Yaphet Kotto's FBI Agent Alonzo Mosely. This, of course, may
be mere coincidence. Though the story may seem like déjà vu, the action
is fast paced making this an exciting film to watch.
Anyone who doubts that Bruce Willis can act needs only watch his standout performance in "Pulp Fiction" to see what depth this actor can bring to a demanding role. The role of Jack Mosely may not be challenging to Willis, but he still gives it all he's got which is plenty. Playing the part of an over the hill New York cop with a game leg, nothing to live for, and a drinking problem seems easy for Willis to make it all believable.
The criminal, Eddie Bunker, Jack must deliver to testify within a certain time frame is played with gusto by hip-hop artist Mos Def. Eddie is the most verbose prisoner ever. He rattles on and on about anything that comes to mind, some of it funny, some of it trite. He also has a riddle that is not answered till near the end of the film.
A standout performance is delivered by David Morse as the leader of the dirty cops, Frank Nugent. Morse is in danger of becoming typecast as a dishonest lawman. I'm hopeful he will become more diversified in his roles since he is such a talented actor.
This is another winner from action director Richard Donner. If you like his other successful concoctions such as the "Lethal Weapon" flicks, "Superman," "Conspiracy Theory," and "The Omen," then you will certainly enjoy "16 Blocks."
I wasn't entirely sure this movie would stick out from the rest but I chose to go since I had nothing else to do. Hell am I glad I was bored. 16 Blocks is a wonderful thrill ride with lots of action/suspense and mild comedy. Any Bruce Willis fan would love this like they did Hostage. Willis plays Jack Mosley, a drunk/hungover cop that seems to have lost his touch. He gets all the scrap jobs that no one wants and one of these jobs brings him straight to Mos Def who plays Eddie, a very hard to understand, very talkative guy who has apparently witnessed something and is due to testify at 10 sharp. It's about 2 hours until he has to be at the court house which is 16 blocks away and a hell of a lot of cops standing in the middle. Mosley doesn't entirely know what to believe, the kid or his ex partner of 20 years but he puts his faith into the kid and the thrill ride begins. Hands down the best dirty cop film I've seen in a while.
This movie was an excellent surprise. It starts slow, but stay with it. Your first look at Bruce Willis as the burnt-out over the hill cop tells you this will not be the normal shoot-em-up cop drama. The plot starts building almost instantly, unlike many movies where you have to wait through thirty minutes of fluff before the story goes anywhere. The characters in the movie are surprisingly endearing, honest and genuine. They're just normal enough to identify with. Not the standard super evil villain and valiant good guy. Bruce Willis is awesome in his role as the tired underdog struggling with the morality of torn loyalty. Mos Def, whose character's voice was a little aggravating, played an excellent supporting role. The relationship he develops with Willis'character is both surprising and humorous. Overall, the movie was tense from the start and is filled with suspense, humor and a great deal of drama. It takes some unexpected turns and has a great ending. I highly recommend it.
This is one of Bruce Willis' finest films yet. He plays a tired old cop
who is handed the menial task of driving Mos Def, a criminal, who has
to testify in court. Little does he know, he winds up running into very
much trouble. Although one might think that this movie cannot be
suspenseful because it takes place within the radius of 16 blocks, many
twists and turns occur which make it very interesting.
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bruce Willis is known for being a great action movie star. Richard Donner is known for being a great action director. The combination of these two should create great hype. I saw this the first day it was out and I guess it almost lived up to my expectations. Bruce Willis portrays Jack Mosley, a alcoholic cop who, after a long day of work, has to escort a prisoner to a trial for a testimony. Mos Def plays Eddie Bunker, the prisoner with a dream of becoming a baker. They have to go 16 blocks in a little bit over a hour. They encounter multiple attempts on Eddie's life, and Mosley begins to suspect other cops of this. 16 Blocks is an intense thrill ride with multiple twists. Great camera angles that create more suspense help you really understand what they are going through. David Morse did a great job playing the dirty cop. The only problem is that it has some parts that would make you laugh. This may take away the seriousness of the movie from some viewers. It can be corny and predictable at times, but 16 Blocks is a good flick and you should see it.
Certainly a decent cop - thriller; it's quite entertaining despite some actions sequences that are really unlikely (they could also be called brainless). In fact credulity is put to the test a lot of times, nevertheless "16 Blocks" is a kind of movie that makes you reflect on what you saw. Bruce Willis plays the unusual part of a broken down cop ready for both rehabilitation and retirement, weary of working and living as well; Bruce has never looked more unkempt and scruffy but his part his acting is really persuasive and cogent. The ending could (should) have been less predictable but the job is in my opinion well done.
I haven't seen a movie in years that would be able to touch me as deep as this movie did. Here you won't see piteous freaks or ill children. Just two adults: one elderly white cop and one young black guy (even not really a criminal). But I'd never believe how touching one action-packed day of their lives can be! There are dozens of a-cop-and-a-criminal movies like this but they are all not nearly like this! They are stupid and I never liked that kind of flicks. This movie is splendid. It really should be something to make such a fantasy/sci-fi fan like me to like a criminal drama (not really a drama, read further). Maybe the very idea of the film is plain, maybe the plot has somewhat unrealistic turns (who proved that real life hasn't?) but the characters and their behavior is so real, full of senses and inside thoughts that their acting touches the very soul! And the thing I really loved: unlike many "high art" movies this one ends realistically WELL because, maybe I am too naive, God is kind and life is not a movie. Such a movie ends well: it was really a kind surprise for me! My bow to the director, he's genius. The actors as well. Someone is still able to shoot truly remarkable movies.
"16 Blocks" features an aging Bruce Willis as a broken-down, burned out
NYPD detective assigned to transport the key witness in a police
corruption trial from his jail cell to the courthouse where he is
scheduled to testify 16 blocks away. However, something goes terribly
awry when the cops who are the targets of his testimony attempt to
knock off the witness, forcing Willis and his charge to run for their
lives through the crowded streets and deserted back alleys of downtown
"16 Blocks" deserves points for at least attempting to provide a bit more in the way of characterization and theme than we are used to in run-of-the-mill police procedurals, but the film winds up falling flat despite the best of intentions and some first rate performances by Willis and Mos Def as the man whose life Willis feels compelled to protect. For even though the low-keyed approach writer Richard Wenk and director Richard Donner have taken towards the material should have made this a more believable and realistic film than most in its genre, the filmmakers keep undercutting that truth by having the two fleeing gentlemen go through so many hairbreadth escapes that we begin to think that not only are these NYPD officers corrupt but amazingly incompetent as well. Moreover, the schmaltzy, humanity-of-man ending, with its theme of mutually achieved salvation and redemption, comes across as a contrived piece of sentimental uplift that never rings true or convincing.
What's good about the movie is its occasionally witty one liners and the performances by the actors in the two lead roles. Willis, craggy-faced, gimpy and sporting a noticeable middle-age spread, is subtle and subdued in the role of a man who has grown apathetic and cynical over the years, and Mos Def makes a very compelling character out of Eddie Bunker, the criminal-with-a-heart-of-gold who never stops talking, but whose deadpan, singsong delivery endears him to the audience. The actors alone compensate for the underdeveloped script and the overall sense of ennui that permeates the film.
In New York, the alcoholic and decadent detective Jack Mosley (Bruce
Willis) is assigned to deliver a prisoner to the court sixteen blocks
far from his precinct in 118 minutes. Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) made a
deal with the D.A. office and will identify and testify against a dirty
detective. While driving to the tribunal, Jack is attacked by a group
of corrupt cops and protects Eddie.
In spite of being a flawed movie, "16 Blocks" is a good entertainment with lots of action and an optimistic, hopeful and commercial message in the end that people can change, with the redemption of Eddie and Jack. Mos Def irritates with his accent, and Bruce Willis is totally different from his usual shape, inclusive with a "tire" on his belly. It is funny to see all the damage caused by the bus in Manhattan and no press and no interventions of Ada MacDonald (Brenda Pressley), who was interested in the case. My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "16 Quadras" ("16 Blocks")
saw preview in NYC. Fun action flick. somewhat derivative but some good audience laughter in right spots and applause when appropriate. should have good broad based appeal. didn't fall asleep which, these days, is a good sign. Bruce Willis does weary hero well though its unclear why his character does what he does. Mos Def is funny and engaging but nasal voice is annoying after awhile. Best job is by David Morse who is completely believable as a NYC cop though somewhat unbelievable in terms of what he will go through to do what he feels he must do. Others have drawn parallels to The Gauntlet with Clint Eastwood and there are definite similar themes and scenes but , obviously , more updated and , actually fun.
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