Here I sit, trying so hard to come up with something witty and clever to say about 16 Blocks. However, this would be nothing but deceitful and pointless because, the truth is, there is nothing witty or clever about Bruce Willis’s latest endeavour. It does provide a bit of entertainment, but this is heavily overshadowed by a stagnant plot and acting that falls way below average.
Remember the Die Hard days? Bruce Willis was at the top of his game and delivered performances that surpassed expectations. Now, the years seem to have been taking a toll on poor Willis. His talent, like his physical ability to carry an action movie, has seen better days. The result is a less credible, pale copy of the great action hero he once was.
Willis stars as Jack Mosley, a cop in charge of transporting a prisoner from a local prison to a courthouse for testimony. What was supposed to be no more than a routine task turns into a war between good and bad cops in the streets of New York. Originality? I think not.
In this story, as old as movies itself, the ending is so predictable and is presented with a thick layer of sugar icing and tons of explosives, staying true to the Hollywood formula. To present anything as a surprise leaves audiences feeling somewhat dumbfounded as the giants of the entertainment industry look down upon them.
Willis’s sidekick is played by Mos Def, better known for his R&B skills than his acting skills. Moviegoers quickly realize the reason his acting has gone unnoticed in the past as he stumbles through his lines. Chemistry with his once-great action movie co-star is nowhere to be found, which gives the movie the final blow. The day Hollywood will stop considering rappers and other recording artists as actors, the movie industry will greatly improve. Only then will the standards rise, much to audiences’ delight. You would think that the greats of this industry would have learned their lesson with Mariah Carey and Britney Spears.
Stacked with undeniable visual punch, 16 Blocks has all the elements of the classic action blockbuster. With a gangster rapper in one of the leads, and its endless gunshots and car chases, the movie stays true to the action genre. However, this is all lost through choppy editing and incoherent blabbering. Those looking for any kind of substance and some hints of a plot will be left disappointed.
Disappointment really seems to be the key word with this movie. Whether it is with the acting, the plot, or the overall impression, this movie will not reach even the lowest standards. Bruce Willis has gotten his fans used to a level of entertainment he seems to have a hard time reaching.