Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Moviewatch: "16 Blocks"

"16 Blocks"
Director: Richard Donner
Fien Print Ratings (out of 100): 52
In a nutshell: If an unknown director had made this movie on a budget of $3 million with a cast made up entirely of unknowns, I think I would have been more generous. "16 Blocks" feels like the kind of conventional genre script a writer turns out because the individual twists and turns have already been mapped so many times that once you decide on your characters -- a washed up cop (Bruce Willis) has to transport a petty crook (Mos Def) accross 16 blocks to a courthouse, but runs afoul of some dirty cops along the way -- it writes itself. Donner, a solid practitioner, keeps the camera tight on the actors and gets decent performances, even if Willis is a bit too sad-sack for my tastes and Mos Def talks through his nose the whole time. I kept waiting for something to surprise me, though, for something to cheat expectations. It's ultimately a painless B-movie and nothing more or less.

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