Movie Review : Broken City
Critic's Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Direction: Allen Hughes
Duration: 1 hour 49 minutes
Story: The Mayor of New York City is convinced that his wife is having an affair. He hires a former cop-turned-private investigator to disclose the identity of her lover to him. As the investigator digs deeper, he realizes there is more to the case than meets the eye.
Movie Review: Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) fears he might lose his post to rival candidate Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper). Valliant is hell-bent on exposing Hostetler's alleged real estate scams. Along with political problems, the mayor also faces marital discord. He is convinced but needs proof that will expose his wife's alleged adultery.
He thus hires Billy Taggart ( Mark Wahlberg), a former cop-turned-private investigator to look into the personal life of his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones). She however warns Billy that he may be wrong in judging her and her husband's motives.
Broken City begins brilliantly. The plot keeps you engaged with its twists and turns, making the story look like an action-packed suspense thriller. The build-up is superb. It convinces you to expect an equally gripping second half. Unfortunately, that is where the film runs out of steam and takes up a convenient, cliched twist which leads to an unappealing climax. The complex web of mysterious events gets unraveled way too easily.
From a crime thriller to a political drama on corruption, the film also faces identity crisis of sorts. The transition makes you feel as if the director got confused and chose to take an easy way out towards the end. Also, connecting the characters' past to current events seems far-fetched. Some scenes hold no relevance to the story.
Catherine Zeta-Jones looks the part but is wasted. Wahlberg is seen doing what he probably does in every other film - he indulges in fist-fights when he is not taking pictures. He is good at it but there is nothing new that he does. Russell Crowe has lost weight and plays his part well. The role is half-baked though.
Broken City had the potential to be this dark crime thriller as it involves dangerous secret investigation and murder. The inclusion of politics makes it pale and predictable. If political dramas are your thing, watch The Ides of March (2011) instead!