broken cityDirector: Allen Hughes

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine-Zeta Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper and Alona Tal.

Running Time: 109 minutes

Certificate: 15

Extras: Making Of, Interview With Mark Wahlberg, Deleted Scenes.

Here we go again, Mark Wahlberg playing the tough guy with a good heart trying to beat the bad guys in the main hub of New York City. But BROKEN CITY has something a little different from the usual suspects, but that may not be enough to make it stand out.

Visually we keep to film-noir conventions, low-key and using the city as the key backdrop. It is true what they say; New York City is a character itself and this movie could not have been filmed anywhere else.

As for the actors, there isn’t a dodgy role on show. The so called ‘passion projects’ come along and it showcases the brilliance of Hollywood’s best. Crowe’s Mayor has villainous qualities without treading into cliché, and Alona Tal as Billy’s assistant really plays against Wahlberg amazingly.

On the surface it should work well, but something  isn’t right. It comes down to two things: The first being the script. We open with a scene that usually takes a good hour or so to build to – our protagonist sitting on trial for the suspected shooting of an unarmed suspect. It is an interesting risk from debut writer Brian Tucker. But while there is great dialogue, the delivery of which is even better, the overall story arc lets it down. It feels thin almost, and you’re left waiting for a pop that never comes. The second problem seems to be the film’s want to be a gritty indie with studio thriller qualities. It would have been much more believable if they would have chosen a single path and stuck to it.

There is nothing groundbreaking about BROKEN CITY, it will pass time pleasantly enough but whilst it has great elements the weaker parts kicks it into mediocrity.

3 StarsBROKEN CITY is out on DVD and Blu-ray from June 24th via STUDIO CANAL