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16 BLOCKS by Richard Donner


Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis) is a drunkard with a bad leg, a potbelly and a depression. He is the guy who is called for the jobs where you need someone who is expendable. He is one of New York’s Finest.
When he just wants to go home after a night-shift, he is assigned one more job – to escort motormouth Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to the courthouse. Eddie is a pain in the neck, and all Jack really wants is a drink. But when he stops at a liquor-shop, the day starts getting really ugly. Somebody is trying to kill Eddie before he reaches the courthouse, and Jack can save him only in the last second. Jack and Eddie seek cover in a bar, but when Frank Nugent (David Morse), Jack’s ex-partner for 20 years, appears as reinforcement, things get even uglier. It turns out that Eddie is a witness who shall testify in court within the next two hours – and he shall testify against Jack’s colleagues and friends. The cops want Eddie dead before he can make his testimony.
Frank wants to convince Jack to do what he usually does – have a drink, go home and forget about everything. But Jack does have a conscience – he turns against his friends and escapes from the bar. Now it’s the limping, hard-drinking cop and gabber Eddie on the run from the NYPD and against time. They must reach the courthouse in time or the case will be closed and Eddie’s testimony will be useless – and the cops know Jack and they know his destination, and they will do whatever is necessary to stop him and Eddie.

Bruce Willis is an aging, overweight cop with a bad leg, not running through the city in his undershirt (so he is not John McClane and this is not DIE HARD), with a drinking problem and a bad attitude (Stop! Or is he?). Bruce shows us something more than his McClane-schtick, but this might be McClane in 10 years, and he’s still outnumbered and fighting.
Mos Def is convincing as the hyperactive nag, and together they make a nice couple, but not as funny or with the chemistry of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover in Richard Donner’s legendary LETHAL WEAPON series. Maybe he’s just getting too old for this sh*t.
The plot is OK and the action is there, but Bruce Willis’ presence doesn’t help to amplify the suspense – he is Bruce Willis, so you can be quite sure he won’t snuff it, but despite this there’s still a mildly surprising finale.
A solid buddy-action movie (a bit short on the buddy-thingy), but not a truly great one.

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