An aging alcoholic cop is assigned the task of escorting a witness from police custody to a courthouse 16 blocks away. There are, however, chaotic forces at work that prevent them from making it in one piece.
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Serena Scott Thomas
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Coming from a police family, Tom Hardy ends up fighting his uncle after the murder of his father. Tom believes the killer is another cop and goes on the record with his allegations. Demoted then to river duty, the killer taunts Tom.
Sarah Jessica Parker,
Jack Mosley, a burnt-out detective, is assigned the unenviable task of transporting a fast-talking convict from jail to a courthouse 16 blocks away. However, along the way he learns that the man is supposed to testify against Mosley's colleagues, and the entire NYPD wants him dead. Mosley must choose between loyalty to his colleagues and protecting the witness, and never has such a short distance seemed so long...Written by
The film's writer, Richard Wenk, has reported that he originally conceived of the project with himself as writer and director and, before shopping it around to anyone else, first approached Richard Donner because they had a struck up a good relationship when Donner really liked his rewrite of a script for a Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), even though that script was not used. Wenk said that upon hearing his pitch for his new film, Donner "liked it so much that he didn't want me to direct it; he wanted to direct." Wenk tells this story in the documentary about screen writing, Tales from the Script (2009). See more »
After the negotiator tosses the "Nextel" phone on the bus, Jack engages in conversation using the hands-free mode. If you look closely, you can see "Nextel" on the display instead of the number/person he is talking to. See more »
It's Detective Jack Mosley, Shield number 227. I guess this will be my last will and testament. This is for Diane. When this day is over, they're gonna come and talk to you about this and they're gonna... gonna tell you what happened, Diane. But what they tell you is not really what happened here. So I hope that you get this. I was trying to do a good thing.
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There are no opening credits save the title "16 BLOCKS". See more »
SPOILER: On the DVD is a version with an alternate ending, where Nugent calls off killing Jack after they talk in the basement of the courthouse, but can't get through to Torres. Nugent runs upstairs to stop Torres. After Jack tells the ADA he's willing to testify, Torres shoots him when he pulls the tape recorder from his pocket just as Nugent reaches him. They both fall down the stairs. But then Nugent moves as the playback starts on the tape recorder. The ADA rushes to the jury with the recording as someone covers Jack's face with a blanket. Later a voice over (when Diane gets the cake) by Eddie reveals that Diane came to see him in Seattle to tell him that Jack is dead. See more »
A few hair-pin turns before the 16 blocks are traversed
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."
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