EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|BROKEN CITY (director: Allen Hughes; screenwriter: Brian Tucker; cinematographer: Ben Seresin; editor: Cindy Mollo; music: Atticus Ross/Claudia Sarne/Leo Ross; cast: Mark Wahlberg (Billy Taggart), Russell Crowe (Mayor Nicolas Hostetler), Catherine Zeta-Jones (Cathleen Hostetler), Jeffrey Wright (Colin Fairbanks), Barry Pepper (Jack Valliant), Kyle Chandler (Paul Andrews), Alona Tal (Katy), Natalie Martinez (Natalie); Griffen Dunne (Sam Lancaster), James Ransone (Todd Lancaster); Runtime: 109; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Randall Emmett/Mark Wahlberg/Stephen Levinson/Arnon Milchan/Teddy Schwarzman/Allen Hughes/Remington Chase; 20th Century Fox; 2013)|
|"Misfires on all cylinders."
by Dennis Schwartz
dreadful wannabe "Chinatown" ripoff B film. Director
Allen Hughes ("The Book of Eli"/"Menace II
Society"/"From Hell"), the twin brother of
director Alfred, directs as a solo a busy pic with
many plot twists that misfires on all cylinders. It's
a vapid pic about a corrupt NYC mayor, injustice,
double-crosses and shallow compromised characters
that's filled with cliches and some really unconvincing
acting from its first-rate stars. The trite dialogue
can be attributed to Brian Tucker.
Crowe is the arrogant oily villanous
Mayor Nicolas Hostetler, locked in a bitter NYC
re-election campaign with wealthy reformer city
councilman Jack Valliant (Barry
Pepper), and because the race is close
and it's eight days before the election the mayor
hires disgraced forced to resign
ex-cop-turned-private-eye Billy Taggart (Mark
Wahlberg) to dig up dirt on his
unfaithful trophy wife Cathleen (Catherine
Zeta-Jones). After handing over photos
of her with Valliant's campaign manager Paul Andrews
(Kyle Chandler) and
handsomely paid $50,000, Paul is murdered in the
street near his Greenwich Apartment and the boyish
Catholic naive Billy decides he was murdered not
over adultery but about info he had about a corrupt
city real estate deal that the mayor is involved in.
Billy seeks personal redemption as he now decides to
bring down the venal mayor and heroically rips up
the check. To get evidence of the big-time scam
real-estate deal the mayor is involved in, Billy, if
you can believe because I can't, hooks up with the
unlikable smug black police commissioner (Jeffrey
Wright), the one who forced Billy to
resign seven years ago from the force, to arrest the
mayor. The film has a few more clumsy twists up its
sleeve that have nothing to do with the plot before
it ends just as coldly as are its murder story, its
love stories and all its characters portrayed. It
brings up subjects like human and gay rights,
political corruption, and public housing
funding, but has little to say that resonates or
does it leave much of an emotional impact with its
run-of-the mill cop story melodramatics.
The Big Apple locations were shot in New Orleans.
REVIEWED ON 1/24/2013 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ