"Broken City" is a fun watch. But the political crime thriller, directed by Allen Hughes ("The Book of Eli," "Menace II Society"), won't blow any audiences away.
The dialogue is amusing, if not particularly original.
The performances are solid, if not particularly memorable.
And the plot is engrossing, if you don't think too hard about its plausibility.
Mark Wahlberg, Russell
Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones
Cinemark Tulsa, AMC
Southroads 20, Cinemark Broken
Arrow, RiverWalk, Owasso,
1 hour, 49 minutes
R (pervasive language,
some sexual content and
(on a scale of zero
to four stars)
Mark Wahlberg stars as ex-NYPD detective Billy Taggart, who was forced to resign after a shooting incident. Seven years later, Billy is working as a "private eye," mainly hired by spouses who suspect their partners of infidelity.
Billy is then hired by Nick Hostetler (Russell Crowe), a crooked mayor seeking re-election. Hostetler, who was also mayor at the time of Billy's resignation, claims that his wife is cheating on him, and that he only wants to find the man before election day. But then the plot thickens, uncovering corruption at every corner.
All the scenes with Crowe are enjoyable, from his public debate with his opponent to his private conversation with a big campaign donor. He plays the role of a never-ruffled, always outwardly jovial politician quite well. But he's not to be crossed, as can be detected from a scene in which he reminds his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) that it is election season, and tells - or more accurately, commands - her to "act accordingly."
Wahlberg also offers realistic portrayals every time he's on screen, with scenes ranging from him trying to collect money from clients to turning into a stumbling, drunken mess after breaking up with his girlfriend.
The biggest problem with this film is the script by first-time screenwriter Brian Tucker. The story tries to fit everything together perfectly, but viewers will get the sense that the pieces come from different puzzles. But at the same time, it feels like the film forgets to join its actual scenes together. For example, how is it that Wahlberg's character is hopelessly drunk one minute, then capable of helping in a crime scene interrogation minutes later?
Despite these flaws, the movie is thoroughly entertaining. But it is entertaining in a way that, though you enjoy each scene on its own, after it's over and you think of the work as a whole, you can't help but be less than impressed.
Original Print Headline: Fun watch isn't too impressive
Nour Habib 918-581-8369