Written by Guillermo Troncoso.
Mark Wahlberg stars as Billy Taggart, an ex-cop turned private investigator who gets double-crossed by the mayor of New York City (Russell Crowe).
Broken City benefits from the good performances by its two leads. Mark Wahlberg (also one of the film’s producers) does his usual likeable tough-guy role and he does it well. Russell Crowe seems to be having fun as the conniving Mayor that carries nothing but ulterior motives underneath his fake tan. They’re as watchable as always and bring a level of gravitas to the formula.
Director Allen Hughes’ clean-cut, confident direction is smooth and allows for the story to develop clearly and stylishly. The whole film is very easy to take and ticks off most of the boxes for a great night at the movies. Alas, the screenplay doesn’t quite fulfil the promises it sets out.
The initial set-up evolves quite well. There’s a perfect level of intrigue and suspense as Wahlberg’s flawed character finds more trouble the further he digs. His investigation into exactly how and why he is being double-crossed definitely keeps you on your toes – until you see the end on the horizon.
Like a stick of dynamite that fizzles out before detonating, Broken City leaves you unsatisfied and slightly ripped off. It’s as though screenwriter Brian Tucker just couldn’t find a way to resolve the story so he went for the most obvious and dull conclusion. It’s a shame too, the first half of this film is actually quite an enjoyable thriller.
THE REEL SCORE: 6/10