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"Broken City"



Overview: In a broken city bounding with injustice, ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) seeks redemption and revenge after being double-crossed and then framed by its most powerful figure, the mayor (Russell Crowe). Billy's relentless pursuit of justice, matched only by his streetwise toughness, makes him an unstoppable force and the mayor's worst nightmare.[/size]




Film:


My Thoughts:


Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta Jones star in this noir crime thriller where everyone has a motive and no one can be trusted. Seven years after being forced to resign as a New York police officer, private detective Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) takes on his toughest case yet: following the wife (Zeta-Jones) of the city’s hard-nosed mayor (Crowe), who’s convinced she’s cheating on him. But by the time the mayor reveals his true intentions, Billy is already in too deep. Now, with his freedom - and quite possibly his life - on the line, Billy will risk it all in a desperate bid to expose the truth, and seek redemption in a city where second chances don't come cheap.


Mark Wahlberg is a pretty one dimensional actor but I tend to enjoy his films. The trailer for this one didn’t inspire a need to see it theatrically so I opted to wait and watch it at home. The script is rife with convention and adheres to the model of corrupt cops, seedy businessman and political impropriety. As such it remains predicable throughout leaving little for the sleuths among the audience to sink their teeth into. The narrative rotates around Billy Taggert and the obvious questions regarding why the mayor would choose HIM to track his wife. There are several anecdotal offshoots that lead nowhere and only serve to convolute the storyline which quite frankly is fairly thin. Once all is revealed the hope of an engaging twist, or shift from the mundane, gives way to jadedness.


I didn’t find Russell Crowe’s performance to be credible and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Jeffrey Wright don’t get nearly enough screen time to be factors. I like Kyle Chandler and although he doesn’t have a big role he made the most of it. Mark Wahlberg doesn’t break any new ground in the lead and comes off exactly as expected (which is fine).


Comparing Broken City to the better films in its genre makes it deficiencies more glaring. It isn’t necessarily a bad film it’s just not a memorable one. In the end my reaction to it would best be described a lukewarm.


Broken City is scheduled for release on Blu-ray/DVD on April 30, 2013 and I am scheduled to receive it for review at that time. Fox approached me regarding the opportunity to screen it as it is available to own now on Digital HD. You can instantly stream or download the film to a variety of devices allowing the flexibility of always having it available. I downloaded it via iTunes to my iPad and streamed the high definition video and lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 channel sound to my reference system through Apple TV. The image and sound quality was fair but not what I would compare to Blu-ray.


For those interested in the quality of the Blu-ray release look for my review in the coming weeks.


BROKEN CITY in Digital HD, and other movies you purchase are available online anytime, anywhere as they are safely stored in a digital cloud. This allows you to stream BROKEN CITY online or download the full BROKEN CITY movie onto multiple devices, from your laptop to your tablet or smartphone so you can watch at home or on-the-go!
 

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Ralph -- Your review of Broken City confirms what I expected after watching the trailers and reading some of the earlier reviews. That's why, like you, I decided not to see the film in the theater. I may or may not see Broken City when it finally plays on HBO or Showtime but certainly won't watch it before then.
 
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