Broken City is about marital discord, political in-fighting, corruption, and malfeasance. It could have been made as a tale of a good man trying to deal with bad things around him. But filmmaker Allen Hughes and writer Brian Tucker can’t find any gripping element in the movie. As a result, the movie turns into a formulaic story of a man looking for redemption in a world where forgiveness is hard to come by.
Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) was dismissed from the NYPD seven years earlier for shooting a rapist-killer under suspicious circumstances. At present, he is a private eye who has to bug his clients for payment. He is already behind in paying his assistant Katie (Alona Tal). He lives with his actress wife Natalie (Natalie Martinez).
New York Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) calls Taggart to hire him for a job. The mayor is the person who handled his firing in the past. It is a week before a close election and the mayor is convinced that his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair. He wants to find out who the other party is before his opponent gets hold of the information and use it against him.
As Taggart follows the mayor’s wife around, he uncovers that it is not just a simple adultery case. It involves developers close to the mayor being allowed to buy a public-housing project and turn it into a high-rise development. It also includes murder and other crimes.
But as soon as you discover the real plot in Broken City, there’s not much left to the imagination. There’s the obligatory car chase, several fight scenes, and tons of emoting. You can predict the ending right at the beginning.
Wahlberg brings his B game to Broken City and Crowe doesn’t help save it from mediocrity either. Broken City is predictable and tedious to watch at times.