Saturday, October 18, 2014

Broken City

Movie Review : Broken City
Director : Allen Hughes
Genre : Crime / Drama
Released : January 2013
Starring : Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones
My Rating : 5 out of 10

When a movie with A-list star cast is released after the holiday season is over, especially the January-April time-frame, it can be taken as a sign of poor confidence from the movie makers. Broken City is not an exception to this rule of thumb.

The movie starts with a brief introduction to the past events. Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) was a NYPD officer. He had killed a suspect, and while he has been exonerated by the court, there is some damaging evidence. The New York City Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) helps him cover it up, but Billy has to resign. Now Billy is working as a private detective. The Mayor is in the middle of a tightly fought election campaign. The mayor suspects that his wife is having an affair. Billy is called to investigate and find out who is her lover. As we can expect, the investigation reveals that things are not what they seemed at first.

Although not very novel, this is a fine set up for a gripping movie with political manipulations, intrigue, thrilling actions and slow uncovering of a conspiracy. The promises are there, but not much is delivered. The reasons are many. The idea behind the conspiracy itself is not particularly evil, and also not very smart. There doesn’t seem to be a way pull this kind of deal off with any secrecy. The behavior of the characters - especially why someone has an allegiance with someone else, wasn’t always clear to me. It’s fine for the writers to keep the mystery about who is on whose side, but eventually the motives have to become clear. There is a subplot about Billy and his girlfriend, but it’s left unresolved - maybe some scenes were simply removed during editing. Whatever it is, it’s a bit of a mess.

I don’t think Mark Wahlberg was a good choice for this role. Russell Crowe seems to be making an honest attempt, but he is not very convincing either. Catherine Zeta-Jones does a reasonable job, and still looks stunning, but her character doesn’t have much screen time. Casting is an issue, but the real problem is a confusing, unconvincing script.

I cannot recommend this movie, not even as a cookie-cutter action flick.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...