Broken City – Review (Courier #19)

28 Mar

Director and producer Allen Hughes splits from his twin brother Albert, sits alone in the director’s chair and heads for the shadows with new crime-thriller Broken City.

Set in the big rotten apple of New York City, this is a place where injustice can be found on every street corner. Mark Wahlberg plays cop turned private detective Billy Taggart. A tale of revenge is on the cards after he is double-crossed by the corrupt Mayor, Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe). He pays Taggart to trail his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones) for reasons that become increasingly ambiguous and leads Taggart to plunge into the seedy underbelly of the city to discover the nefarious links between business and politics.

First off, Broken City takes so much from hundreds of other political crime-thrillers that it becomes a simple and average film itself and brings nothing new to the table. Too many other films influence it; so it feels old fashioned and therefore fails to captivate with its unwarranted nostalgia. There is a fantastic cast yet no stand out performances; instead Wahlberg, Crowe, Zeta-Jones et al. are all guilty of just going through the motions with their stereotypical characters.

The film adds twists and complexities to expose the murky activities surrounding politics and lead detective Taggart deeper into the fold, but these don’t add depth or interest as they don’t create a satisfying whole.

VERDICT:Not bad per se, just plain average in all departments and woefully unoriginal. If you want a fresh and captivating take on the shadowy links between politics and business, leave Broken City and head for Chinatown.


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