16 Blocks (DVD, 2006) Reviews

16 Blocks (DVD, 2006)

38 ratings (23 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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16 Blocks --- With Bruce Willis and Mos Def; Directed by Richard Donner

Mar 15, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Bruce Willis and Mos Def, great story, very intriguing, extremely suspenseful

Cons:none

The Bottom Line: 16 Block was a great film that was packed full of suspense, and is well worth seeing because of the writing and acting of its stars.


Detective Jack Mosley has seen better days with the police department. He is an aging man, who has stopped taking care of himself. You can see the years have not been kind to him, and his addiction to alcohol becomes apparent from the first moment you set eyes on him. He is out of shape, over-weight, and walks with an extreme limp on a damaged leg. On a daily basis it seems like he is just going through the motions of being a cop, trying to do the bare minimum, and skate by until he can retire and get his pension. It's not clear what has sent him down this road of despair, but it is obvious to everyone around him. It could be said that he no longer really cares about anything, so what happens next comes as a surprise to everyone. With the normal transportation stuck in traffic across town, Mosley is tapped to deliver a prisoner to the local courthouse. It's a task far below his pay grade, and though he protests, eventually is convinced to take it on by his supervisor. It's not what he wanted to be doing after working a full shift that night, and all he wants to do is go home and sleep. But that is the way that fate dealt him a hand on this day, and he is about to get a wake-up call.

All Mosley has to do, is transport Eddie Bunker 16 Blocks in 118 minutes time. It doesn't seem like that difficult of a task, and he thinks nothing of the time commitment. Getting 16 blocks in 2 hours is going to be easy, even with all of the traffic of New York City. Unaware of real story behind the man he is transferring, he set off on the journey to the courthouse. Unfortunately for him, there are many people that don't want to see Bunker make it to the court on time. He is scheduled to appear before a grand jury as a key witness against corrupt cops. These are officers and detectives that have worked directly with Mosley, and will kill to keep their secrets. Too late Mosley finds out the situation that he is in, and the movie begins to unfold in an exciting fashion pitting a washed up cop and a petty thief against a police force that wants to see them fail. Getting those final 16 blocks is not going to be an easy task, and anything you can think of is about to go wrong in their quest to reach the court house by 10am. With nowhere to turn, and no allies to rely on, Mosley finds himself lost for ideas, and struggling to do the right thing for the first time in his life.

Bruce Willis is Detective Mosley, and it is a role that he really threw himself into. For the part, he put on weight, when without sleep, and even has a poison put into his eyes to give the illusion of a run-down cop. It was a really great acting role for him, and I was very impressed with just how well he was able to portray the character. We have seen him take on the roles of cops before, but this is the first time that I really was floored by his dedication. Watching him on screen, you felt sorry for the character, and at no time were you convinced that he was going to be able to maintain the physical and mental strength required for the situation. That is because the character was built in a fashion where he was in a situation he could not have planned for, nor was he ready to go into it. Tired, hung-over, and hurting, Mosley has to beat the odds in order to finish the job. Willis was simply great in the role, and when he is on screen with Mos Def, the chemistry just makes both of them better. Mos Def was most recently in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as Ford Prefect, so you may recognize him, but he is so much better in this part. He takes on a new accent, and falls into the part so perfectly, that you forget both of these men on screen are acting.

On the other side of the coin, you have David Morse as Frank Nugent. Morse is usually one of the supporting characters in films, and you will recognize him right away as someone you have seen before, but can't quite place him. He was a guard in The Green Mile, a cop in The Negotiator, and even had a show for a while called Hack. Here, he is the ex-partner, who has obviously been more successful in his career, but is now leading the charge to stop Mosley. He is going to use all of his resources, and take them down before they can reach court if he has anything to say about it. He is decent in his role, but it is really Willis and Mos Def that carry the movie for its duration. 16 Blocks is a fast-moving action film, that requires you to focus on the film from beginning to end. It has a few moments where it slows down to let you catch your breath, but on the whole, it is a fast moving film that relies on clock-watching in order to build up the intensity. With a deadline for the main characters, it adds a sense of validity to the pace of the film, and I think that it helps the audience become more absorbed in the characters. Richard Donner does a good job of Directing the film, and pieces together the scenes in a way that builds up the drama and suspense about how everything is going to turn out. I was eating my popcorn furiously without even realizing I had almost finished it until it was gone. That is the level of attachment I made to the story. I think it was really well done, and that with Willis at the helm, this is one of those movies that are best seen in theaters, or on a big screen television with the sound way up.













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