19 April 2013 637 Views

Home Release Review: “Broken City”

by Dan Koelsch

broken city

If you missed the crime thriller Broken City in theaters, then you’ll have a chance to see it again when it releases on Blu-ray next Tuesday. However, if you are more digitally-inclined, you can download the film in HD now on various platforms. Wondering if you should pony up the money? Read my review after the break.

Allen Hughes directed the screenplay by Brian Tucker, which details a dirty political race for Mayor of New York City. Mark Wahlberg plays New York City police officer Billy Taggart who is in trial for the murder of the man who raped and murdered Billy’s girlfriend’s teenage sister. Thanks to Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) sweeping some evidence under the rug, the death is ruled self defense, but Taggart has to leave the force. Seven years later, Taggart is a private detective who has trouble collecting from clients. Hostetler is running for re-election, so he hires Taggart to find out who his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair with. Taggart finds himself in the middle of a political war that involves murder, backstabbing, and more.

The best thing about this movie is the cast. They all give strong performances, especially Crowe, who seems to revel in playing this egomaniac. Unfortunately, the film’s thin plot isn’t as strong. The B story of Taggart’s struggling relationship with his actress girlfriend (Natalie Martinez) feels forced, falling completely flat. She isn’t even in the final half of the film, and it’s not until her exit that the real mystery of this supposed noir begins. The slow pacing is made worse by the lack of and shortness of action beats. I wanted a lot more meat on this bone, especially for a film that tries to dive into political corruption and the 1% during this recession.

The digital extras (at least on iTunes) are minimal, with just two featurettes about the making of the film.

If you’re looking for a good crime thriller or modern film noir, this movie may not be the right film for you. The solid performances aren’t able to fix this Broken movie.

Rating: 2/5

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