Movie Details

Broken City

In a city rife with injustice, NYPD detective Billy Taggart is arrested for the murder of Mikey Tavarez, who raped and murdered the sixteen-year-old sister of Taggart`s girlfriend Natalie Barrow, only for Mayor Nicholas Hostetler to eliminate the evidence. Taggart is forced to leave the police and become a private detective. Seven years later, on the verge of bankruptcy, Taggart is hired by Hostetler to find out who his wife Cathleen Hostetler is having an affair with, which gives Taggart the perfect chance for revenge.

Language: English
Subtitle: Chinese
Classification: NC16
Release Date: 18 Apr 2013
Genre: Thriller / Drama / Crime
Running Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes
Distributor: CATHAY-KERIS FILMS
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Alona Tal
Director: Allen Hughes
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Ng Suzhen

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Watch this if you liked: “The Lincoln Lawyer”

"Broken City" may be positioned as a political/crime thriller but there is really nothing new that keeps audience in suspense thanks to its all-revealing trailer. If you have not had the chance to view that particular clip yet, the movie may still hold some surprises for you.

The thriller revolves heavily on the character of Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg), who is forced to resign from the police force after deliberately shooting a rapist/murderer when the criminal is released without charges from the courts due to technicalities. Taggart was nearly convicted in court for the murder until Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) steps in to intervene.

Fast forward to seven years later, Taggart is now a private detective while Hostetler is campaigning vigorously to be re-elected with eight days to go and facing a strong opponent in the form of Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper). Taggart is therefore a little baffled that he is called in by Hostetler to investigate of all things, who Hostetler's wife, Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones), is having an affair with during the height of his political crisis.

When Taggart ignores Cathleen's warning to back off, his investigation ends up causing the death of Valliant's manager, Paul Andrews (Kyle Chandler), adding to Taggart's suspicion that there is more to the job than just unravelling an affair.

The focus on the film relies so heavily on Mark Wahlberg that even Russell Crowe's presence dims in comparison. That being said, Wahlberg manages to carry the movie effortlessly, which in the hands of another actor, might not necessarily work out for the film.

The boys in "Broken City" mainly dominate, no thanks to Catherine Zeta-Jones weak performance as the emotionally abused mayor's wife. The role is one that is responsible for unravelling the conspiracy, starting with Taggart's assignment to capture the mystery man having an affair with her, yet Cathleen seems to be underplayed most of the time. What could have provided more depth into the story is abandoned as the plot chooses to instead zero in on just how much Mark Wahlberg is willing to go for justice, or is that Billy Taggart? After a while, you really cannot tell the difference.

Kudos to Alona Tal, who plays Katy Bradshaw in the film, Taggart's assistant. The chemistry between her and Taggart is a sweet one, border lining between sibling affection and romantic feelings between the two. The audience cannot really tell, which, thanks again to insufficient screen time for Tal. Her portrayal of Bradshaw is such a likable one that you really wish the movie could have showcased more of her.

Despite featuring a lot of Wahlberg, the film is still quite enjoyable. Do not expect to be looking at a very smart thriller though, because the mystery thins with every minute, especially if you are familiar of how dirty politics can be.

Cinema Online, 18 April 2013
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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