“16 Blocks” is an adrenaline-pumping action film that is unique because of its plot and real time storytelling. It becomes predictable after it reveals the big twist 30 minutes into the movie, but it still gives us everything that we want in a Bruce Willis film where he faces impossible odds so that justice can be served. I have always loved the concept: Transport a criminal through New York City to the courthouse that is 16 blocks away while the enemy tries to take you down. At points, it seems like the concept is better than the execution. I appreciate that the writers try to go beyond your typical action flick by incorporating a down-on-his-luck-alcoholic-transforms-into-a-hero storyline; however, it comes off as overdramatic. I don’t know if it is because of the acting, the sometimes cheesy musical score, or Willis’ creeper mustache, but it seemed out of place amongst the action. Meanwhile, Mos Def steals the show as the likable criminal, Eddie. His nasal manner of speaking helps us to view him as a victim instead of a criminal which creates the empathy that drives the story. David Morse makes an excellent villain, especially because we can easily view him as a good guy and a bad guy at the same time. “16 Blocks” contains plenty of farfetched moments but you’re probably watching this for the action sequences and not the realism of the story.
[Pictured: Mos Def is great, Willis' mustache is disconcerting]