Thursday, April 25, 2013

Broken City

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. I am just sharing my opinions and perspective. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Or we can--hey, look at that squirrel!

Broken City – 2 out of 5

Ah, the story of political corruption. Such a staple in the world of cinema (and the real world) that I think it would actually be quite shocking if we got a movie that featured a decent politician doing decent things with a clean record…but where’s the fun in that?

All good politicians maintain a minimum of 5 minutes of unflinching eye-
contact when meeting potential voters.
Broken City is about an ex-cop; Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg), who gets off on a murder charge but is forced into the private, non-“bad boys” themed sector of life. After several years pass, the man who was instrumental in his murder trial; Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe), calls on him to find out if his wife (Catherine Zeta Jones) is doing the nasty with another man. Soon, Taggart finds himself being framed for the murder of the campaign manager of Hostetler’s political rival; Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper), and is out to clear his name.

"Hostetler called me a stinkyface."

"And further more, my opponent is of questionable
sexual preference and his mother tends to be

To make this review simple and short, Broken City just couldn’t keep my attention. While the story does have the makings for something that could be interesting (despite that the concept of a man in power framing and manipulating a man in desperation has been done in many ways over and over again) the film’s execution of this archetype was flat. The story tended to drag with no real indication it was going anywhere and when it seemed like there was some sort of tension or thrilling aspects around the corner, the end was immediately behind it.

"Maybe if I stare intensely enough, he'll say 'hi' to his mother for me..."

Even the cast seems uninspired by the film as all the performances are either given with a “whatever, let’s just get it over with” mentality or just done with mediocrity in sight. Despite having a great cast that, beyond the inclusion of Crowe and Zeta Jones, also had Jeffrey Wright and Barry Pepper. However, I have to say the best performance in the film was Pepper and what his character of the rival political figure goes through was performed incredibly well. Even Wahlberg, an actor I usually only enjoy in comedies and nothing else the rest of the time, was fairly decent as Taggart. Overall, though, all the performances were “by-the-numbers” and didn’t really showcase the talents of all the players within it.

"I wish he would apologize for calling me a stinkyface.  That was really mean."

Broken City could have been an interesting political/crime thriller that, even at its weakest, would have been worth at least a rental but the film feels like it’s coasting at its every level for the entire running length of the film. The movie never does anything outright terrible but it really doesn’t feel like it’s trying at all either. This movie is the equivalent of my first job making sandwiches at a popular sandwich restaurant when I was in high school (for the sake of anonymity, I won’t reveal its name but tell you that, while employed there, I was somewhat of a sandwich artist). I basically went through the motions, did the bare minimum that was required of me and never went beyond. That’s pretty much what Broken City is doing; except when it’s over, you don’t have a footlong Cold Cut Combo with extra pickles in your possession...and maybe some Sun Chips.

"Are you not entertained!!!*"
*Entertainment brought to you by Reebok.

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