Every time I hear the title to this movie it holds so much meaning for me. Why? Because 16 Lego blocks were put together and used to smash on my head when I got jumped back in my kindergarten days; I once played basketball and got blocked 16 times by a four-foot Dominican kid who couldn’t trash talk in English so he did so in Spanish. “Asi lo hace mi gente!”; and of course 16 blocks is the number of blocks I’m not welcomed on in New York City. But my personal vendettas are neither here nor there. This is about 16 Blocks starring Bruce Willis and Mos Def.
The movie introduces Bruce Willis as Detective Jack Mosley, a cop who drinks on the job, gets stuck with dooley assignements and looks ready for retirement. Getting stuck with another dooley job, Mosley has to take a perp (Mos Def) 16 blocks to a courthouse to talk before a judge. And though the assignment sounds like a walk in a park, it proves to be a run through hell as Mos is poised to take the stand against some of the city’s most crooked cops whose only mission that day is to murder the bane of their existence by any means necessary.
And Jack only has an hour and a half to get the witness to the courthouse and with a gang of crooked popo (Jack’s old homies) on their heels, trust that it ain’t gonna be no easy feet. Trust me, if I know anything it’s that when police are facing fed time because of what you know, make sure you re always wearing clean underwear. Ain’t nothing more embarrassing than having dirty drawers on when doc’s about to operate.
Now, let it be known that Mos and Bruce got hella chemistry together. (Eat your hearts out Bennifer. I might be a few years late with that one.) Now they wasn’t no Danny Glover and Mel Gibson, but they sure as hell ain’t no Stephon Marbury and Steve Francis (Why God? Why my Knicks? Why?!? Answer me!) Bruce’s stand-up-no-jokes-laughing-ass personality blends in perfectly with Mos’ hood-slang-non-stop-story-telling–dumb-witted character. This film only further proves that Mos Def isn’t another rapper who’s a one-dimensional actor on the side. This man has true talent. Speaking like a ghetto Conehead who takes constant shots at Mosley’s drinking problems and has dreams of opening up his own bakery (no, not baking those cakes — he’s baking real cakes), you really think Mos’ character isn’t all there in the head.
Bruce is always Bruce. Diehard, The Last Boyscout, Sin City — he’s always the man (literally), na’mean. Even in Armaggedon he was playing a cop’s character. But he’s still the man, so I ain’t gonna hate on the man. Plus word is that he’s tappin’ Lindsay Lohan, so he gets more props for that alone.
The story was off the hook. Nothing was too farfetched to be honest. Dippin and ducking crooked cops, changing outfits and hoping on a bus. Everything played out real smoothly. And all within the timeframe of the hour and change in which Mos is supposed to get to the courthouse. This movie is one movie that I’d pay to see again, na’mean? But that’s just me. And no, it’s not a movie to get bent to. You’d enjoy this movie more if you’re sober.
I had to give this movie 4.5 Gangstas.
Mos and Bruce did they thang! The story was off the hook and true to life (hood life), and the action sequences were on point. What really made this film all the more intriguing is that instead of character building first and action later, the character building took place during the course of the movie and action that was going down. Character revelations would be made after some s*** went down, and that made you connect with them on a deeper level and in turn make you worry about the outcome and their well being. All in all, 16 Blocks is what the movie game’s been missing. The only thing this movie was missing: a hot shorty. Then it would’ve truly been a classic. — Omar Mazariego