16 Blocks (Richard Donner, 2006)

16 Blocks (Richard Donner, 2006)


Donner is not what you'd call a director with a deft touch; maybe the last time his films had any easygoing charm was way back in 1978 with Superman, and that was mostly because of Christopher Reeve, who wore the mantle of World's Greatest Superhero lightly on his shoulders (if it weren't for him, that picture would have fallen harder than a ton of kryptonite).


You can't help but watch 16 Blocks with, at best, mixed feelings. Lt. Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis), is asked to deliver prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) sixteen blocks across New York City to the courthouse; as it turns out, Bunker is witness against corrupt cops, and those same cops are planning to take him out before he delivers his testimony. Donner seems to have taken this story about an aged has-been given a last chance at redemption to heart; he's mostly dropped the sniggering humor and the louder action-movie effects (no gigantic gasoline explosions, no obvious use of CGI) and actually focused on Mosley's bleakly depicted predicament.

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