Broken City (2013)

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Directed by: Allen Hughes
Written by: Brian Tucker
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal, Natalie Martinez, Michael Beach, Kyle Chandler, James Ransone and Griffin Dunne

Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post summed it up perfectly when she called this movie, about an ex-cop turned private eye who finds himself in the middle of a political face-off, “deeply mediocre”.

She’s right, it’s not that Broken City is bad because it’s executed well and the cast is enough to keep it moving; but the story is unoriginal and vague; the characters are, to a man, underdeveloped; and the action is lacking.  Had certain scenes been drawn out and others been cut altogether this might have been a decent movie.

What I liked:  Mark Wahlberg is convincing as his staple salt of the earth action hero.  Russell Crowe is credible as the elusive mayor but, again, Hughes failed to get the most out of his all-star cast.  Overall, there isn’t much to recommend this movie other than that it’s watchable.   Props to Alona Tal (who plays Wahlberg’s dedicated assistant) for bringing some form of a connection and levity to the movie and Barry Pepper for adding a little complexity to his character.

What I didn’t like:  There is absolutely zero depth to the story and its characters, and while I could watch and be entertained by it, I ultimately walked away from it with a “meh”.  Hughes relies too much on the celebrity of his cast and does little to evoke any real emotion out of them.  A little more attention to character and detail might have made for a powerful character drama.

My rating:  Mindless entertainment at its most banal.

IMDB: 6.2

Rotten Tomatoes:  26%

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