The opening scene in this film grasped my attention and I found myself fully immersed in the narrative. From then on, I felt almost let down as the rest of the film didnʼt live up to its interesting and suspenseful beginning. BROKEN CITY has a powerful cast with Russell Crowe as Mayor Hostetler, Mark Wahlberg as ex-cop Billy Taggart and Catherine Zeta- Jones as the Mayors wife, Cathleen.
The storyline is a definite cluster. I felt there were too many small side stories that became irrelevant by the end and were left unanswered. A lot of the questions I had about the film as I left the cinema were easily answerable giving me no thought or questions to ask. The ending was sloppy and everything seemed to be revealed within a matter of a few minutes. I didnʼt like this – maybe it was just too much information to take it at the one time.
Minus the negatives; I like to praise filmmakers efforts as BROKEN CITY wasnʼt all that bad. The production value is very high and the image is pleasing to read on screen, minus a few blurry shots (thatʼs me being picky). The action scenes and few car chases with Wahlberg are enjoyable and action-packed as he gives off a great performance. Zeta- Jones, stunning as usual, has the ability to say what sheʼs thinking through her eyes which only adds to the tension between her and Crowe fabulously. The east coast accents were subtle and stylish.
The film has multiple cliches and is rather predictable at some points. I also felt frustrated with the lack of explanation with some of the films events, especially during the second act. As the film is set during an election between Hostetler and Valliant (played by Barry Pepper), I found myself thinking neither of the characters were likable and therefore didnʼt care or pay interest to the election and who would win. Wahlbergs character gradually went downhill throughout the film, adding to the audiences disappointment. I felt this was a major downfall with the screenplay, with no likable characters who am I suppose to be secretly rooting for? Taggarts assistant, Katie, played by Alona Tal, seemed to be the only character I liked. Her witty comebacks and honest humor gave the audience a laugh or two.
Overall, the screenplay definitely needed work, the acting was excellent and the film has a clear visual style. If you liked the Bourne series and films that require a bit of thinking, maybe this one is for you. I give it 6/10.