Because he's a burnt-out alcoholic with a gammy leg, detective Jack Mosley (Willis) is assigned to all the mundane jobs. Today, he is charged with bringing a fast-talking stellar witness Eddie Bunker (Def) sixteen blocks from jail to the courthouse where he has to testify. Stopping off to buy some grog, two armed men try to kill Eddie but Mosley reacts quickly and saves him by dragging him into a nearby bar. When detectives arrive, including Mosley's ex-partner Frank (Morse) to take Eddie off his hands, Mosley realises that they plan to kill him and that Eddie's testimonial will put a lot of dirty cops behind bars. Taking matters into his own hands, Mosley escapes with Eddie and a cat and mouse chase through the streets ensues as the unlikely pair duck in and out of buildings to avoid the killer cops.
16 Blocks must be ranked as one of the shortest road movies (short as in distance) of all time. Director Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon) pushes the story ever on and it rarely lets up except for the usual buddy-buddy stuff in the middle. This drive is essential in keeping 16 Blocks afloat because when it slows down it becomes obvious there is not a lot going on under the surface and its convenient story telling and wafer-thin plot become transparent. Willis is on autopilot as he can do his weary-hungover-reluctant-cop-thing in his sleep but it is Mos Def as the happy-go-lucky perp that steals the show. His nasal whine may grate at times but Def has finally proved he can play with the big boys after showing he could deliver a comic line in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.