16 Blocks (2006)
"16 Blocks" in 16 lines.
13 May 2006
"16 Blocks" gives Richard Donner a chance to do a straighter cop film than the latter-day "Lethal Weapon" movies were.

This also lets Bruce Willis have another shot at his Everyman character and have a hero who's closer to "Unbreakable" than "Striking Distance."

No Superman he, he's a balding paunchy guy who just wants to go home.

Always good to see the Willis who can act rather than smirk.

It's a pretty stripped-down storyline, but Donner and writer Richard Wenk give as much emphasis to character as to action.

This means it isn't exactly "Die Hard" thrilling all the way through.

But it does make the movie somewhat more interesting than it might otherwise have been.

Mos Def's witness is irritatingly talkative, but that's the idea.

David Morse is terrific as the leader of the bad cops out to stop Clint and Sondra... er, sorry, Bruce and Mos.

(Face it, they are running "The Gauntlet.")

For fans of '80s TV, it's a kick to realise that this essentially pits David Addison against that nice Dr. Jack Morrison from "St. Elsewhere."

And props to the makers for not trying to spring a "surprise" twist on us about his best friend being a baddie, but rather showing it early on.

Especially since they save the real twist for much later.

It could have been a minor classic had it ended with the bus under siege as set up in the opening, rather than carrying on for about 20 minutes after, and Klaus Badelt's score is dreadful and completely outclassed by the snippet from "Ladyhawke" over the logo for The Donners' Company at the end.

But there are worse Richard Donner movies out there, like "Timeline."

And worse Bruce Willis cop movies, like the aforementioned "Striking Distance" and "Die Hard With A Vengeance."
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