Based on a pitch by Richard Wenk, this mismatched buddy film follows a troubled NYPD officer who’s forced to take a happy, but down-on-his-luck witness 16 blocks from the police station to 100 Centre Street, although no one wants the duo to make it. The story is a redemptive tale for characters who are polar opposites. The cop, a dark guy and a heart attack waiting to happen, escorts the witness who is a 14-time loser with a sunny outlook.
Bruce Willis does a good job portraying detective Jack Mosley as an alcohol drinking, inept over-the-hill cop who for some reason doesn’t care about himself or anyone else. Mosley is in for a life changing experience when he is singled out to transport a prisoner 16 blocks to the courthouse to testify before a Grand Jury.
Richard Donner is able to keep your attention and interest with some interesting character development. Most of the objectionable language is towards the end of the film and is totally unnecessary. The violence is not very graphic but does show some blood from gun shot wounds. The violence and language are tame compared to Bruce Willis’s “Die Hard” films; however, because of the obscene language in the film, Dove cannot award the Dove Seal to “16 Blocks.” It is too bad too, because if Donner would have gone one more block and traveled down the “high road” to eliminate the obscene language and some of the violence, “16 Blocks” could have been a decent family film. They just would have had to change the title to “17 Blocks.”