This was an advanced screening’¦so the rating could be higher by March 2006 when it comes out. Ok so you have ‘¦Willis as a NY Cop, Lethal Weapon director Richard Donner behind the lens (also in attendance), and up and comer Mos Def’¦.what can go wrong’¦not a lot…but what did go wrong was the quality. The story is about a old/drunk/gimpy/detective (think John McClane 2021) who the force keeps busy with menial low stress jobs. While heading home his lieutenant asks him to transport a witness from the station to the courthouse’¦reluctantly he does it. And the rest of the story is about what happens in those 16 blocks. The first ten minutes set up characters well’¦slow and methodical’¦then a single moment sobers Willis and the ‘˜John McClane’™ in him awakens ‘¦..now we get started!!’¦well no’¦that great moment leads us down a path to a few references to dirty cops’¦a few slow chases (he is still a gimp ) and camera work right out of NYPD Blue (jerky handhelds) and all of Kevin Smiths (camera bolted to the floor) films. A few well placed bait-and-switches and a good quiet performance by Willis keeps the film interesting. While overall this was a more personal version of ‘˜Assault Precinct 13’™ with a uninspired nod to ‘˜Gauntlet’™ ( there was a bus and cops shooting at it) and Midnight Cowboy (Mos Def doing Dustin almost too well) but in the end it was just average faire’¦even below Bruce’s last film ‘˜Hostage’™’¦which was far more exciting but not blockbuster. This one has to fall on Donner’¦his set pieces in the ‘Lethal Weapon’ and ‘Goonies’ were spectacles in themselves and the reason we shell out $11 bucks for a ticket’¦other than the first shootout’¦there isn’t another WOW moment in this film. Donner seems to have slipped quite a bit last year with ‘˜Timeline’™’¦.great material’¦ho hum results’¦and as of this version of the film, his slide will continue or level off at best. But not to worry’¦3 months is a long time to tweak the score’¦tweak the editing’¦and even perform a re shoot or two. March is a good release time’¦gives you a good 2 months before the summer rush’¦which this film has the right people to be there, but no where near the execution to compete. If the woman who directed the season opener of CSI:Miami (‘From the Grave’) was at the helm’¦they would have put this up against Spiderman 3 easily.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.