What can I tell you about the movie 16 Blocks? It’s an action movie starring Bruce Willis and directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon). We will be following an alcoholic cop who has to bring a witness to a court hearing in 2 hours. And you know that the bad guys are going to be all over them. To be completely honest, I must’ve watched this movie at least three times by now. And each time I see it, after a few days I completely forget everything about it. This doesn’t mean the movie is bad, it just means it’s forgettable as fuck. And sometimes we need movies like that. Movies we’re going to forget even while we’re watching them.
The opening ten minutes were, however, glorious. The character Bruce Willis plays, Jack Mosley, is such an alcoholic that he has absolutely no regard for any procedures or protocols. And you simply know that there are a lot of Jacks out there, in real life. However, about thirty minutes in, 16 Blocks switches gears and becomes a classic action movie. We have the ticking clock gimmick, two very different characters who have to work together in order to survive and all the sides you want. There will be chase scenes, shootouts and twists, everything you would expect from a classic action movie.
One thing was missing though and that thing was energy. Everything felt sloppy as we watched our two heroes bumbling their way to the courthouse. I don’t know, I wasn’t just feeling it with this one. And the way Yasiin Bey AKA Mos Def speaks didn’t help with that. I know, I know, the guy speaks in a certain way but all I’m saying is that it took a while before I got used to it. Apart from him, David Morse was a force of fucking nature here just like he was in The Negotiator. Now that’s a good movie with a similar plot I urge you to check out.
Meet Jack Mosley, a burned-out cop who’s also an alcoholic. One day, Jack gets tasked with the routine job of escorting a witness to a courthouse to attend a hearing. However, this hearing is no ordinary hearing and this witness is mos def not an ordinary witness. Soon, this unlikely duo will find themselves running and hiding from a highly organized gang who want to take them out both. So, Jack and Eddie will now have to work together if they want to get out of this alive.
In case the story seems familiar, it’s because you’ve already seen it in movies like Midnight Run or The Gauntlet. I still can’t get over the movie that never was and I want to bore you a bit with it. Just imagine that Mosley has a death wish and he’s constantly drinking throughout this whole ordeal. I mean, we’re going to get shot anyways, why not drink constantly he says. And there’s this shifting dynamic between him and Eddie where the two of them keep convincing the other that life is worth living. Or something like that.
Just imagine this with a good screenwriter putting in a lot of snappy remarks and you got yourself a hit. Moving on, the real 16 Blocks ends on a high note and this is one of the main reasons it finds itself here. This story of redemption, second chances and perseverance is something that I think we can all agree on.
Director: Richard Donner
Writer: Richard Wenk
Cast: Bruce Willis, Yasiin Bey, David Morse, David Zayas, Jenna Stern, Robert Racki
Fun Facts: Bruce Willis was originally aiming for Ludacris to play Eddie Bunker but he was replaced by Mos Def.