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Thursday, March 09, 2006

16 Blocks 

While 16 Blocks kind of drags in some parts, and then ended about 20 minutes after I was ready for it to wrap up, overall the movie was fairly decent. Still, as it was really nothing special, it's definitely a DVDer.

Detective Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis) is an run-down old cop who is long past the point of caring about anything but his next drink, making him precisely the kind of redeemable character that everyone wants to root for. Before he can learn a valuable lesson about how wonderful life can be, however, he must first transport Eddy Bunker (Mos Def), a small-time thief, something like 16 (or so) blocks to the courthouse for a grand jury hearing. This menial task turns a bit more challenging when two gunmen attempt to shoot Eddy during transport, forcing Mosley to forgo his next drink in favor of saving Eddy's life. When Mosley calls his former partner, Frank Nugent (David Morse), in for backup, he is horrified to discover that Frank is less interested in helping Mosley safely deliver Eddy to the courthouse for his testimony, and instead much more excited about shooting Eddy in the head. This falling rather firmly into the "bad" category of possible courses of action, Mosley decides that he'd rather shoot one of the cops in the knee and escape with Eddy. Frank simply can't allow Eddy to testify at this hearing lest he and 6 other cops lose their jobs in disgrace, so he and his gang of corrupt cops set out after Mosley to stop him before he gets those 15-17 blocks to the courthouse. The rest of the movie consists of a series of run-ins and close escapes, while Mosley tries to protect his extremely talkative witness and maybe even learn to love life again through an unlikely friendship.

The decision making skills in this movie are quite questionable, inasmuch as whenever Mosley is presented with two possible courses of action, one being logical and likely to succeed, the other being extremely irrational and fraught with danger, he always goes for the crazy option. The same is true for the gang of corrupt cops; it's imperative that they kill Eddy simply because he is an eyewitness to their wrongdoing, but apparently the hundreds of bystanders who witness the cops trying to murder Mosley and Eddy are somehow less of a problem. Personally I don't think that anyone needed to testify that Frank was a bad guy--it was obvious from the start because he was chewing gum the whole time. Bad cops in particular always chew gum.

As I said, this was a decent movie. The action scenes were fairly entertaining, but probably would have been a lot more fun to watch if they weren't separated by such long stretches of boring dialogue and predictable character development. The acting was good, the dialogue was decent if not a little dull at times, and the action was fine. All in all it was the epitome of an average movie--worth a rent but I doubt a case could be made for one to see it in theaters.


At 7:05 PM, Blogger The Phoenix said...

Bruce Willis has been making some very so-so films lately. I had no plans to see this, but I'll probably catch it when it's on cable down the road.

At 6:16 AM, Blogger SDK said...

I'll be ignoring this film, but I'm now much more wary of cops chewing gum.

At 4:00 AM, Blogger David Amulet said...

You make this sound better than I had suspected. But I'm probably still on the cable/DVD road.

-- david


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