If Broken City – the first film to be directed solo by Allen Hughes, one-half of the Hughes Brothers directing team – is a little flawed and cracked itself, it still squeaks by as a reasonably thoughtful piece of big-screen entertainment.
As an investigation into American municipal corruption, Broken City is, well, damaged. But as an opportunity for hard-boiled types to trade threats, blows and caustic banter, this modern-day noir works reasonably well.
Broken City slogs through such fatigued plot "twists" as having one character confess to another without realizing he's being recorded. The actors look generally unhappy to be here, most of all Crowe, who seems even more miserable than he did in "Les Misérables."
There are plot twists galore, but they unfold in ham-fisted fashion, as if the screenwriter (newbie Brian Tucker) didn't know how to layer the mystery. Instead, the movie simply drops these secrets out of nowhere, in clunky fashion.
"Broken City" 10 Scale Rating: 4.5 (Mediocre) ...
The Good: I liked what they were trying to do. A hard boiled crime noir type of film set in modern times sounds like a good idea and was definitely a different way of going about this sort of film. I also can't complain about the acting. While no one was amazing, no one did a poor or mediocre job either.
The Bad: It just doesn't work. While the idea was a good one, the pacing and tone felt out of place in a modern film. This means that either a. this sort of thing isn't possible or b. it was poorly written and directed. The plot also unravels towards the end and you're left with a pretty formulaic film overall.
Wow. One can picture the director turning to the producer and asking "Should we go with cheese or cliche for this scene?" and the answer invariably being "Both". The blackmail part was the only authentic scene in the whole Turd I'm guessing because they had to extort these actors to get them to buy into this mess. There must have been a "I will never have to watch this piece of garbage" clause in their contracts....Actually, Wahlberg has probably seen it a few times.
Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films (EFO Films),
New Regency Productions,
Black Bear Pictures,
Closest to the Hole Productions,
1984 Private Defense Contractors,