“Broken City” with Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones is about corruption, injustice, and murder in the big city – so what’s different about that, Hollywood?…
Seven years after Detective Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) has been released from a murder charge on a technicality and made to leave the force, Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Crowe) calls him in to follow Mrs. Cathleen Hostetler (Zeta-Jones) on a suspicion she is having an affair. Taggart, now a private investigator, takes the job, mainly because of the much needed $50K fee. Meanwhile, the Mayor is pushing a pet project, Bolton Village, and trying to stay ahead in the polls in an upcoming election. His opponent is Councilman Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper), who opposes Bolton Village and all the corruption Hostetler stands for.
Taggart’s secretary/office manager, Katy Bradshaw (Alona Tal) is a refreshing gem, who works without pay because 1) his clients aren’t paying their fees and 2) she likes the job and her boss. She’s cute, smart, and sassy – just what the movie needs.
Taggart’s girlfriend, Natalie Barrow (Natalie Martinez), is an ambitious actress whose sister was raped and murdered by the teenager Taggart killed. After seven years, their relationship is rocky because they don’t have much in common except the dead sister.
Paul Andrews (Kyle Martin Chandler) is Valliant’s campaign manager and the man suspected of sleeping with the mayor’s wife. In reality, he is merely her friend and is supplying her with damaging information about her husband.
After Andrews is murdered, Taggart figures everything out and enlists the aid of the police commissioner, Carl Fairbanks (Jeffrey Wright), who was the one insisting he leave the force after the trial was dismissed. Fairbanks has always hated and disapproved of the mayor and is against his re-election…The movie ends with a little surprise, but that is not enough to save the film from mediocrity.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.