16 Blocks (12A)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarStarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner26/04/2006

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 102 mins

Enjoyable thriller with a complex script, strong performances and solid direction from Richard Donner.

What’s it all about?
Bruce Willis stars as pasty-faced middle-aged detective Jack Mosley, who still has all of his hair, but sports a paunch William Shatner would be proud of. Just as he’s coming off a long nightshift he’s asked to escort a prisoner named Eddie (Mos Def) to a courthouse, where he’s due to testify against some dirty cops.

The Good
There are very few trustworthy thriller directors in Hollywood but Richard Lethal Weapon Donner is unquestionably one of them. As a result, the action sequences are exciting and smartly handled, whilst still leaving plenty of room for character development. In addition, the plot unfolds almost in real time, which, as any fan of TV’s 24 will tell you, creates an extremely tense atmosphere.

The performances are extremely good, although Mos Def’s lisping, motor-mouthed performance takes a lot of getting used to. Clearly, Donner intended the audience to be as irritated by him as Mosley is for the first half, although he gradually wins us (and Mosley) over. As for Willis, he’s playing an ordinary character for once.

The Bad
There are a couple of improbable plot twists and coincidences but they never threaten to derail the film. That said, there’s a sequence set on board a bus that doesn’t work as well as it should. Ironically, it slows things down just as they should be speeding up.

Worth seeing?
In short, 16 Blocks can happily sit alongside Inside Man as an example of a well-made, superbly-acted, intelligent thriller. More of these, please. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

16 Blocks (12A)
Be the first to review 16 Blocks...
image
01 The Good Lie (tbc)

Reese Witherspoon, Arnold Oceng, Ger Duany

image
02 Nativity 3: Dude, Where's My Donkey? (tbc)

Catherine Tate, Celia Imrie, Martin Clunes

image
03 Mad Max: Fury Road (tbc)

Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

image
04 Dumb and Dumber 2 (12)

Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Kathleen Turner

image
05 Dolphin Tale 2 (U)

Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble

Content updated: 01/10/2014 19:16

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Gone Girl

Rosamond Pike and Ben Affleck star as a married couple in dire straits in this twisted psychological thriller.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films