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16 BLOCKS

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Director Richard Donner, like lead actor Bruce Willis, is no stranger to films about cops on the edge -- he directed the Lethal Weapon series. Here, Willis plays alcoholic cop (again) Jack Mosley who's committed to saving a convict Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) who witnessed some bad cop biz. Bunker is set to testify at a courthouse that seems many more miles away than the suggested 16 blocks. This is probably Def's most disappointing role -- not that his acting was bad; he pulls of the frantic Bigger Thomas character admirably, in all his baldhead sweat and bulging-eyes glory. But his accent in the movie stinks: It's somewhere between Oscar the Grouch and Russell Simmons. Worse, we never understand or care why his life had to be spared -- and by a New York City cop? Who puts his life on the line to save a black felon? From other NYPD cops? Then admits his own accomplice in the corrupt acts? That's what I call racial progress. (BM)

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