Mark Wahlberg scored a modest hit in Contraband, which was released about this same time last year, so it was probably a no-brainer for Producer and Actor Wahlberg to try and replicate the same release strategy with his newest film, Broken City.
Unfortunately for audiences, it’ll take someone who actually has no brain to enjoy this.
Wahlberg stars as a former police officer turned private investigator who has a history with Russell Crowe‘s Mayor of New York City. When the Mayor hires him to investigate his wife’s infidelity, what starts out as a routine job moves him deeper and deeper into money-grubbing world of politics.
The film, also starring Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright and Barry Pepper, is a wanna-be crime thriller that wants to be smarter than it actually is. Director Allen Hughes, working without brother Albert for the first time, is saddled with a horrible script and actors who, instead of turning it up to 11, have ramped it down to 5. The actors performances are so muted that it feels like Hughes filmed the rehearsals and said, “We’re good.”
The script has horrible dialogue (“We’re in pieces! We’ve always been in pieces!”), way too many convenient things happen (Oh, look! Someone left out these architecture plans that I need!) and every other line, someone is spouting exposition, exposition, exposition. We’re smart – we knew the woman Wahlberg was living with was his girlfriend 2o minutes into the film and that she was an actress (because she already said she it twice.) Oh, wait… they made her say it 3 times because it figures into the plot. Ah, OK.
We even have the “Stare at yourself in the mirror while deciding what to do” scene. Oh, and Barry Pepper plays a good guy named… Jack Valliant.
The film isn’t horrible, not by any means but at the end, you’ll feel mad at yourself that you wasted your time.