Broken City (2013) – Review

After being caught up in the shooting of a young and seemingly innocent man, Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg), is a cop that consequently loses his job, forcing him into eventually working for Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) in a job that from the outside seemed simple enough, but this proved to be just a minor piece of a much larger and more complex puzzle in this politically charged drama.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Director: Allen Hughes
Writers:  Brian Tucker
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Initially, this seemed to be a straightforward story of a man who wanted to unearth the truth about his wife, who he had suspected of cheating. Mayor Hostetler rang in a favour from Billy Taggart who began investigating Cathleen Hostetler (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and trying to discover whether or not she was having an affair and with whom. When Billy successfully completes the job, his consequential actions lead to severe complications as well as his past eventually coming back to haunt him. The story was far deeper and more complex than initially anticipated.

As the movie developed it began focusing more on the political element of the story, which some viewers will be fond of, whereas some may not. In terms of runtime, it stood at just over one-hundred minutes, an was about right for a movie of this nature.

Mark Wahlberg basically plays Mark Wahlberg, but with some demons locked away – he does what he does best in movies of this kind and puts in a solid performance in a role suited down to the ground for him. Russell Crowe is equally as brilliant in the political charged character he plays and let’s not forget Catherine Zeta-Jones, who plays the beautiful yet commanding role as the Mayor’s wife – maybe one character that didn’t get the screen-time she deserved.

All of the supporting cast were equally as impressive too with Barry Pepper shining as Russell Crowe’s political rival and Jeffrey Wright doing well when needed as the detective caught up in the case.

Broken City most definitely had the ability of keeping the attention of the viewer, but I did feel that as the flick entered its final stages, it could have done with a slight rewrite to simplify the story and plot on a whole. I found it wandering around and spiraling in several different directions that weren’t necessarily needed – much to the detriment and confusion of the viewer. Even the final twist didn’t seem too shocking as anybody remotely paying attention would have been able to see it coming from the opening five minutes of the film.

Overall, however, a decent watch, but not something that I’d want to sit down and watch again in the near future.

“Doesn’t anybody in this town speak in complete fucking sentences anymore?”

Billy Taggart – Broken City

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