Film review: Broken City (15)
For a while this murkily convoluted tale of New York politicking keeps a rough hold – a spiritual headlock, if you will – in the manner of a Sidney Lumet conspiracy thriller.
Mark Wahlberg plays a cop drummed out of the force and earning a crust as a gumshoe; a call from Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) embroils him in a job shadowing Hostetler's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who may be having an affair: it's election time, and he doesn't want to be wearing a cuckold's horns before the public.
Allen Hughes (From Hell) works with a strong cast – Barry Pepper as Crowe's mayoral rival, Jeffrey Wright as a police commissioner and, best of all, Alona Tal as Wahlberg's pert, Hunter-educated assistant, building a funny and touching rapport with her boss. But the wheels start coming off the plot as Wahlberg's marriage implodes and a political player is murdered.
Too much is happening at once, and not enough of it remotely believable. It's fine to proclaim that mayoral politics is lousy with corruption and connivance, but you need a script that will keep an audience in touch with why it is. For much of the time, Broken City doesn't seem to understand what's going on any better than we do.
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Green village to be bulldozed and mined for lignite in Germany's quest for non-nuclear fuel
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Before They Pass Away: In pictures
Kylie Minogue, Kiss Me Once tour, London O2 - review: Pop princess still reigns supreme
Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican lead female comedy breakthrough
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
The Simpsons death: Character killed off - but not the one you thought
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month