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Ellen Sterling sterling

Movies: Broken City

Friday, January 18, 2013

If I haven’t mentioned it before, a movie filmed in New York City always gets a teeny bit extra love from me. I love my native city like one might love a person and, when it looks as beautiful as it does in Broken City, I have to confess I am hooked.

The Mayor (Russell Crowe, left), the Police Commissioner (Jeffrey Wright, center) and the about-to-be-former cop (Mark Wahlberg) meet in New York City.
Photo: © 2012, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Now, Broken City is an OK film about New York Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) who hires private detective Billy Taggert (Mark Wahlberg) to tell him with whom his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is cheating. It is set a short time before the mayoral election and Hostetler’s opponent, society guy Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper) is waging a good race.

Now Crowe has waaaaay too deep a tan for a dedicated mayor in the northeast in November (when the movie takes place). Both he and Zeta-Jones must work on the American/New York accents.

Wahlberg is fine as a former cop who kind of left the NYPD in disgrace. Jeffrey Wright as the police commissioner is the outstanding one in the cast. He’s elegant and menacing at once.

This movie with a screenplay by Brian Tucker, is director Allen Hughes’ first solo effort. Heretofore, he worked with his twin brother Albert. Their most notable film was The Book of Eli. My favorite was the Johnny Depp journey into the world of Jack the Ripper, From Hell. Like those movies, Broken City has plenty of noir-ish feel to it and there is a mystery.

The cast, which also includes Kyle Chandler, Alona Tal and Natalie Martinez are all good. The movie looks good, too. Even a trip 120 miles east of the city to Montauk on Long Island is beautiful to see.

What’s wrong is that mystery at the center of the plot is not, really, much of a mystery. But, it is told with style and lovely scenery. And, Mark Wahlberg is definitely a star.

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