two films with mos def and “block” in the title in one visit to the theater. odd.
75 year old richard donner (superman, goonies, lethal weapon 1-4) makes a bit of a return to his previous form here after some poor films like assassins and timeline. mos def is a witness who needs to get to the courtroom in 2 hours and willis is the cop who has been assigned to take him there. willis is aging well as an actor. though he’s still slated to do die hard 4, i think he understands that he can’t be the same type of action star anymore. hostage and 16 blocks show an understanding of his age. in both he appears aged and weary. in this film he plays a cynical lush who has a less than perfect record of service. but there is still potential and the audience knows this because of his reputation. just as deniro capitalizes on his tough guy roles of the past in doing comedies like meet the parents and analyze this, willis brings a credibility to the screen because of his previous work.
the first half of the film is relatively engrossing and sharp, but it peters a bit as the film progresses. one major flaw is that it falls into the usual genre sympathy ploys and tricks in the final reel. sometimes the switch-a-roo works (bandits) and sometimes it’s too obvious (16 blocks). all in all, though, it’s a pretty good film if you’re looking for a good, easy time. willis and mos def do a good job with basic genre characters and i didn’t find myself checking my watch too often.Watched in theater