Thursday, March 22, 2012

16 Blocks (2006)

Bruce looks bored, uh oh
               If you haven’t seen this movie yet that’s fine because you’re not missing much except the feeling that it seems like a film you’ve seen before.  The plot for this movie is somewhat original in that I can’t recall seeing a story in which an alcoholic policeman cared so much about a common thief.  I didn’t know what to expect before watching so at least I wasn’t let down afterwards.  Why does it appear as if you’ve already seen it?  It has corrupt policemen chasing an eye witness who is protected by another corrupt, while drinking, policeman through New York City.  It’s that recycled story of corrupt lawmen who forget to clean up that one lose end that expands into a crisis that blunders onward.  This is the first of Mos Def, who plays the common thief Eddie Bunker, I have seen.  After you become accustomed to his voice, which doesn’t help the movie, it becomes possible to watch the film.  He uses an odd voice that makes him seem he has a learning deficiency.  If you watch it you’ll see what I’m driving at.

                The idea Eddie can change his life from something as petty as a thief to a birthday cake baker is interesting, I’ll give it that one.  They play that line a bit much throughout the movie though, which in turn makes me think, “Yes, we’ve heard that about five times now.”  Repetition is common in the film with things of this nature.  Bruce Willis, who plays Jack Mosey, being the old cop who seems to have a jagged past is evident.  He plays the role like he’s thinking why did I take another policeman gig?  I’ve seen stronger performances by him as he comes across as slightly uninspired at times.  Mos Def certainly provided a nice comedy relief at often appropriate times.  The plot was successful at moments but too unbelievable at others.  I hate when that happens, if a flow is established then the movie suddenly does something outlandish it makes you exercise your patience.  It made for a cliché type of action movie as well.  There was plenty of gunfire but the stars always seemed to dodge those bullets, ack.

                It’s a movie about how you can change from something you may not want to be into something you can be.  Eddie as stated already wants to be a birthday cake baker which comes off as silly but it manages to work well enough, it’s better than being a criminal right?  Unless he’s putting filing picks and explosives in them and sending them to prisoners, ha-ha!  Now old Jack Mosey is stuck on his past of corruption and wishes he was dead basically.  He strives to protect Eddie who would in turn testify against him anyway but he wants to do the right thing, honorable enough.  Eddie tries to convince him he can turn his life around and let go of what happened.  It actually plays out decent in the movie but gets overshadowed by mundane action sequences and spotty acting from the number one corrupt cop Frank Nugent (David Morse, not a big fan).    

                It was a feel good moment at the end when Eddie became a baker and proved to Jack that change can happen to anyone who seeks it.  The ending was nice I’ll admit which the movie needed to stay at least credible.  I will say that the main idea and concept of the story was done well but the action scenarios were a bit lacking.  It had new situational moments in it but I was unimpressed overall.  I don’t feel that it has any immediate re-watch value, probably one of those once a decade movies watches.  It comes down to if you like Bruce Willis you’ll enjoy it but if not you may want to have a backup movie.

                Rating: 6 of 10

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