DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Film Review: 16 Blocks

16 Blocks (12a)
Dir. Richard Donner

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

It’s almost 9am and man I feel rough. I look rough, I’m completely out of shape and my bum leg is playing up. Been drinking all night, just trying to kill time till I get off duty, get home to my bed and crash – welcome to my life as one NYPD’s finest.
What I don’t need right now is to escort a smart mouthed petty criminal 16 blocks so he can give evidence in court. What I really don’t need right now is to have to battle an army of thugs, assassins and their well placed contacts on the streets of Manhattan. Want to know the best part? The scumbags who are trying to kill my witness are corrupt cops, and I’m a marked man if I cross them. Now, where did I put my gun?

16 Blocks is a near real-time action thriller from Lethal Weapon creator Richard Donner. Bruce Willis is the weary loser cop hero who must protect rapper Mos Def’s fast talking witness. The odds are stacked against them making the short 16 block journey to the courthouse alive. Firstly Willis’s detective Jack Mosley is a limping grizzled, hung over waste of a police badge. Secondly he’s up against pretty much the rest of NYPD including his crooked former partner (a slimy David Morse). It’s a good set up for a couple of hours of gunfights, chases and unlikely cop / crim bonding.

Director Donner knows how to deliver the big screen goods and Willis is given licence to do what he does best – run around looking worried with a gun in the face of impossible odds. Def is good too in a modern take on Eddie Murphy’s character from 48 Hours (just not quite as funny), although he is kind of irritating and his stupid nasal voice grates after a while.

16 Blocks certainly lets you see a darker side of New York, the action takes to the roofs, alleys, basement sweatshops and dingy stairwells which I never spotted when I was over there. This fun action flick should please Willis fans and anyone looking for a lower key quality alternative to the blockbusting juggernaut of M:I:III which is on pretty much every other screen right now.

Even the overstated moralising ‘that people have the ability to transform themselves for the better’ can’t stop 16 Blocks being a smart choice of film to pick for some action distraction.

Darkmatt Rating: ööö1/2 (Donner / Willis deliver in this fun action tracker)

"RUN... Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy want their 48 Hrs royalties!!"

Links - Bruce Willis was also good in: Hostage



Carl V. Anderson said...

Nice review. I really had low expectations about this one but went anyway since enjoy Bruce Willis. I left the movie very pleased with the experience and would recommend seeing this one, especially if you're a Bruce Willis fan as he is at his best here. Look forward to catching this one again on DVD.

daghoul said...

Nice Review.


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