Film Review – Broken City (2013)

Broken City

Title – Broken City (2013)

Director – Allen Hughes (The Book of Eli)

Cast – Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper

Plot – Ex cop Billy Taggert (Wahlberg) is now working as a detective in New York City. His services are called upon by mayor of New York Mayor Hostetler (Crowe) on the eve of Election Day which he faces defeat by up and comer Jack Valliant (Pepper). Billy must investigate the affairs of Mayor Hostetler’s wife Cathleen (Zeta-Jones) but all is not as it seems, made worse by the shadowy past of Billy himself.

“There are some wars you fight and some wars you walk away from. This isn’t the fighting kind.”

Review by Eddie on 30/07/2013

It’s a very curious thing as to why an actor like Crowe or even Wahlberg (which is saying something for the guy that stars in almost any action flick put under his nose) wanted to star in a movie like Broken City. What we have here is one seriously average thriller plot boiler that doesn’t seem to register anything out of 1st gear and brings to question. What was the point of this unfathomably pointless film?

The story found in Broken City is pretty much cookie cutter mystery stuff. We have the detective with the shady past, the token hot and angry girlfriend, the creepy fake tan laden Mayor ect ect. The way in which revelations are put forward about the characters and whose cheating who is just not that interesting as most astute film fans will figure out the basics of the plot within the first half hour which is a shame considering the talent working on the picture.

Allen Hughes here directing without his offsider and brother Albert ads no visual sense or style that made his other movies such as Book of Eli and From Hell far more tolerable in all there averageness. Wahlberg is on auto pilot, Crowe gives a pretty much downright trashy performance as Mayor Hostetler and the rest of the cast seem hell bent on just collecting there pay check and running. After all this is said and done though it’s actually hard to give the movie a complete critical shellacking as there is nothing overly offensively bad about it.

Broken City is an average movie, made with good actors who put in average to lame performances. The story is average, the twists average and as a whole it’s you guessed it average! Average however is much better than some things out on the market, if you’re looking to kill almost 2 hours of your time there are far more broken efforts out there than this one, it would of just been nice for someone involved to say – “Hasn’t this been made before, and much better?” and then done something about it.

2 facial moles out of 5

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8 responses to “Film Review – Broken City (2013)

    • He has made some mixed films. I would recommend State of Play, 3 10 to Yuma and A Beautiful Mind however as good examples of solid Russell movies or perhaps it’s just Aussie pride! (Eddie)

    • Well then there is probably no convincing you that the man can act, he does choose some slighty disapointing films and perhaps to many vanity projects (Eg Robin Hood), Noah however has the makings of a very interesting and perhaps groundbreaking film. Will have to wait and see! (Eddie)

      • He can act, I am not disputing that. I just don’t think that he is a brilliant actor 100% of the time. I enjoyed his perfomance in gladiator and also in the Australian film The Sum of Us. Other than that I think he has gone a bit hollywood to the detriment of himself. I also think that his effort in romper stomper is highly overrated considering ryan goslings effort in The believer was phenomenal in comparison, even Edward Nortons performance in American History X was far better than his. Russel has talent but he really seems to coast along. If anything I enjoyed master and commander more than his other modern roles but that could be because Peter Weir had a hand in it. He is a competent actor but he is definitely not up to the standard of joaquin phoenix, Michael Shannon,benedict Cumberbatch, crispin glover etc.

  1. I must agree he does seem to “coast” more often than not. So good to hear Master and Commander mentioned that is a ripper of a film that to this day is severly underrated by the general and film loving public.

    On the note of Glover one feels he needs to produce a decent performance in the near future he has seemed to have fallen pretty badly of the film radar as of late. (Eddie)

  2. Liked Wahlberg in THE DEPARTED, ITALIAN JOB and SHOOTER, otherwise he bores me.

    Crowe I normally like, and I think he aced L.A. CONFIDENTIAL and MASTER AND COMMANDER, and was very good in GLADIATOR, and he was good in STATE OF PLAY. Strangely, I found him okay in Les Misérables, but then I found the movie as a whole okay—not great, but okay. Maybe I should qualify that by saying I didn’t expect much. Ha!

    Can’t stand Glover. Period. He’s never been believable to me.

    We gave BROKEN CITY just 1 pitiful star, and my memory is that it only deserved 1/2 of a pathetic star.

    • Not far off my thoughts – I feel my 2 stars was slightly nice when I think back on the movie. What a lazy lame attempt at a thriller from all participants. (Eddie)

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