Last year Mark Wahlberg used this timeframe to launch “Contraband,” a action thriller made for $25 million that in the end pulled in almost $100 million worldwide. Today, he’s back with Fox’s “Broken City,” a crime thriller co-starring Russell Crowe that like “Contraband,” doesn’t seem to be winning over reviewers, but could still be a dark horse at the box office.
The difference here though is that “Broken City” has competition from two films very much in the same core demo. Since “Mama,” and “The Last Stand” are each more gimmicky, “City” really could have used positive word of mouth from critics to help it earn more money. Instead critics feasted on its bones and ripped into the drama.
“When any film works, it's a miracle; when it doesn't, it's this.” Richard Corliss, TIME
“There's rarely a believable moment ...” Lou Lumenick, New York Post
“‘Broken City’ is a completely forgettable film. It's not a terrible movie; it features a solid cast and polished directing by Allen Hughes. It's not all that good either.” Matthew DeKinder, St. Louis Post Dispatch
While the film’s trailers (and name) have been everywhere, it’s unfortunate that the plot for the most part gets buried in the footage. “City” follows a down and out cop turn private investigator (Wahlberg) that is double-crossed by his latest client who also happens to be the mayor (Russell Crowe). On paper the on-screen pairing of Wahlberg and Crowe seems like a good idea, but somehow everything has gotten lost in translation.
The result is a movie ravaged by reviewers with a convoluted plot that is coming to theaters against strong competition. Given all of that it’s not exactly a surprise today’s projections from Hollywood fantasy site HSX have “City” struggling to break $10 million. Add holdover “Zero Dark Thirty” into the mix and this could be a brutal finish.
“Broken City” is in theaters today.
So what’s your take New York? Will you check out “Broken City?” Were you a “Contraband” fan? Hit the comments and let us know.