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Broken City (2013) Reviewed By Jay

United States, 18 January 2013


Jay´s Review

A former cop with the New York City Police Department had been double-crossed and framed; seven years later he is hired by the mayor to track a (possibly) unfaithful wife.... Why does this sound so familiar?

...Sigh...There is nothing new in this l-o-n-g (109 minutes) R-rated action-filled mess. Dirty cops, corrupt politicians, unfaithful wives, deadbeat customers, you know the drill. My biggest problem was finding someone I could root for! Maybe that darling secretary? Maybe the lover?

I watched:

  • * Mark Wahlberg ("The Fighter") is Billy. We want to root for him, but we can't forget those first scenes.
  • * Russell Crowe ("Les Misérables") is Mayor Hostetler. His phony smile can't disguise that little twitch under his left eye when he is tense.
  • * Jeffrey Wright ("Source Code") is Police Commissioner Fairbanks, who has me confused: is he clean or is he dirty?
  • * Catherine Zeta-Jones ("Rock of Ages") is Cathleen, the Mayor's wife. Is she or isn't she faithful?
  • * Kyle Chandler ("Zero Dark Thirty") is Paul, a political operative who is, believe it or not, the most decent guy in the whole movie.
  • * Alona Tal (Lots of TV) is Katy, Billy's Girl Friday in his private detective business. She's sweet and resourceful.

Expect gunshots, fisticuffs, vehicular mayhem and LOTS of talk, which, I was surprised to note, includes very little profanity. The R rating seems to be due to the violence of some of those fist fights. It struck me as funny that everyone is constantly drinking but absolutely no one smokes.

All in all, I didn't find this movie very involving; most of the characters seemed to be at arms-length. The talky script is Brian Tucker's first time out, so next time Mr. T. try the less-is-more rule and use two words instead of twenty, okay? Especially when you have them speak sotto voce and many of us in the audience can't make out most of that blasted dialogue.

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