Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe
Directed by Allen Hughes
Another January dud. Broken City drops hot-shot actors in a quicksand of clichés and watches them sink. Like last week's Gangster Squad, Broken City thinks its Chinatown. Talk about delusional. Mark Wahlberg stars a Billy Taggart, a New York cop forced to resign after a controversial shooting. But Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crow) has his back. He hires Billy, now a private investigator, to catch Mrs. Mayor (Catherine Zeta-Jones) screwing around. What seems like a simple adultery case opens a rat's nest of political corruption. Allen Hughes, going solo as director without his brother Albert (oh for the glory days of their Menace II Society), is totally sidetracked by a caffeinated script by newcomer Brian Tucker that runs the gamut from hyper to frenzied. Wahlberg stays solid as the movie goes kaflooey. But I kept wishing his recent costar Ted, the trash-talking bear, would show up and set this movie straight. I mean someone needs to call bullshit on Crowe, struggling with a New Yawk accent, for playing the Mayor in a bad rug and a worse spray tan. This is a broken movie.