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August 28, 2006

16 Blocks - 4

This film has way too many clichés. Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a washed up cop, who is made to do a small job, pick up a witness and transport him to the courthouse. Turns out that out of the ordinary things start to happen: gun fights, car chases, and a hostage situation. All of this held together by clues that unfold: the witness (Mos Def) is telling of police corruption and the dirty cops are chasing him; Jack turns out to be one of those dirty cops who is trying to do the right thing. The films theme is whether or not people can change. The Disney (this film is Warner's- which started in New Castle, PA about 20 minutes from where I am typing...) answer is always: Yes! There are interesting ways to tell a story in which that happens- Crash, Changing Lanes, etc (and that's just the C's)- this is not one of those films. The story comes off as cheesy, it hard to care for the characters, because you are given so little background information that provides a context for their transformation. The fact that is has an alternate ending (which is the written ending) in which the main character dies tells you that the director thought it would be nice if the audience left the movie feeling nice, rather than finding meaning in the narrative and the characters.

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