An aging alcoholic cop is assigned the task of escorting a witness from police custody to a courthouse 16 blocks away. There are, however, chaotic forces at work that prevent them from making it in one piece.
Set in a futuristic world where humans live in isolation and interact through surrogate robots, a cop is forced to leave his home for the first time in years in order to investigate the murders of others' surrogates.
Coming from a police family, Tom Hardy ends up fighting his uncle after the murder of his father. Tom believes the killer is another cop, and goes on the record with his allegations. Demoted then to river duty, the killer taunts Tom.
Sarah Jessica Parker,
Jack Mosley, a burnt-out detective, is assigned the unenviable task of transporting a fast-talking convict from jail to a courthouse 16 blocks away. However, along the way he learns that the man is supposed to testify against Mosley's colleagues, and the entire NYPD wants him dead. Mosley must choose between loyalty to his colleagues and protecting the witness, and never has such a short distance seemed so long... Written by
The film's writer, Richard Wenk, has reported that he originally conceived of the project with himself as writer and director and, before shopping it around to anyone else, first approached Richard Donner because they had a struck up a good relationship when Donner really liked his rewrite of a script for a Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), even though that script was not used. Wenk said that upon hearing his pitch for his new film, Donner "liked it so much that he didn't want me to direct it; he wanted to direct." Wenk tells this story in the documentary about screen writing, Tales from the Script (2009). See more »
When Jack first saves Eddie from the assassins (after buying his alcohol at the store), the slide on his pistol is in the empty position, indicating that he had a round in the chamber, but none in the clip. In the next scene, the slide is in the normal position. See more »
It's Detective Jack Mosley, Shield number 227. I guess this will be my last will and testament. This is for Diane. When this day is over, they're gonna come and talk to you about this and they're gonna... gonna tell you what happened, Diane. But what they tell you is not really what happened here. So I hope that you get this. I was trying to do a good thing.
See more »
There are no opening credits save the title "16 BLOCKS". See more »
some good elements but they fail to fully come together
"16 Blocks" features an aging Bruce Willis as a broken-down, burned out NYPD detective assigned to transport the key witness in a police corruption trial from his jail cell to the courthouse where he is scheduled to testify 16 blocks away. However, something goes terribly awry when the cops who are the targets of his testimony attempt to knock off the witness, forcing Willis and his charge to run for their lives through the crowded streets and deserted back alleys of downtown Manhattan.
"16 Blocks" deserves points for at least attempting to provide a bit more in the way of characterization and theme than we are used to in run-of-the-mill police procedurals, but the film winds up falling flat despite the best of intentions and some first rate performances by Willis and Mos Def as the man whose life Willis feels compelled to protect. For even though the low-keyed approach writer Richard Wenk and director Richard Donner have taken towards the material should have made this a more believable and realistic film than most in its genre, the filmmakers keep undercutting that truth by having the two fleeing gentlemen go through so many hairbreadth escapes that we begin to think that not only are these NYPD officers corrupt but amazingly incompetent as well. Moreover, the schmaltzy, humanity-of-man ending, with its theme of mutually achieved salvation and redemption, comes across as a contrived piece of sentimental uplift that never rings true or convincing.
What's good about the movie is its occasionally witty one liners and the performances by the actors in the two lead roles. Willis, craggy-faced, gimpy and sporting a noticeable middle-age spread, is subtle and subdued in the role of a man who has grown apathetic and cynical over the years, and Mos Def makes a very compelling character out of Eddie Bunker, the criminal-with-a-heart-of-gold who never stops talking, but whose deadpan, singsong delivery endears him to the audience. The actors alone compensate for the underdeveloped script and the overall sense of ennui that permeates the film.
53 of 91 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?