Monday, 7 June 2010

Film Review: 16 BLOCKS (2006)

Director: Richard Donner
Running time: 98 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 12

UK Release Date: 28th April 2006

Watched on DVD Monday 7th June 2010.


I had not heard much about this film before I watched it. It had been lurking in my DVD collection for some time before I decided it was time it got an airing. I got it on a whim, you know, ‘it’s got Bruce Willis in it so it can’t be that bad’, kind of thing. And now I’ve watched it it’s turned out to be a pretty good purchase. But I digress, here’s a little about the plot before I tell you what I thought of it.

Detective Jack Mosley is a broken down cop, he drinks and does as little as possible to get through each day. He’s just finished a night shift when his Lieutenant persuades him to do one last job, get a felon from the precinct to the Courthouse. 16 blocks in two hours. Little does Jack know that this little job will uncover things certain people would rather kept quiet. The criminal is a young guy called Eddie Bunker who’s wanted to testify before a Grand Jury. It’s only when someone tries to kill him en route to the Courthouse that Jack discovers exactly what he knows. It seems Eddie has evidence of a senior officer taking bribes and a lot of other cops involved in the scheme are out to silence the witness. As you can imagine this makes things really tough for Jack. I think that’s enough about the plot, don’t want to give too much away.

I found this a very thought provoking whist at the same time a very entertaining film. Well made with the streets of New York looking great as they always do. Great performances from the entire cast, in particular I liked the performance of Bruce Willis as Det. Jack Mosley. I thought Mos Def was really engaging as Eddie Bunker, although I did find his accent a little hard to follow at times. Also, David Morse stood out as the Mosley’s ex-partner who is leading the pursuit and plays a really unpleasant bad guy.

This is a film about redemption. The Jack Mosley character has given up because he has no purpose in life. During the film he finds a purpose and in the end does the right thing. It’s one of the best performances I’ve seen from Bruce Willis in years, very understated and very poignant. Over all, as I’ve already said, I found the film both thought provoking and entertaining and as such I can also recommend it.

My score: 7.6/10

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