What do you get when you cross an Australian, a Welsh woman, a Bostonian and a Canadian? A film about a New York City mayoral election, corruption and sex, of course!
This melting pot of actors come together to form “Broken City,” a political potboiler written by Brian Tucker and directed by Allen Hughes of Michigan, naturally.
A John Boehner-tanned Russell Crowe plays Nicholas Hostetler, an in-your-face mayor with potential corruption problems, running for reelection against Jack Valliant (Barry Pepper) … subtle, isn’t that? In the final days of his campaign, Hoestetler hires PI Jack Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) to tail his wife, Cathleen, (Catherine Zeta-Jones) whom he suspects of having an affair. Taggart is a former police detective who owes the Mayor and with his hiring, the Mayor has come to collect.
Skyline aside, nothing about this movie says New York. In real-life NYC, mayoral corruption is the least of the city’s problems—DC, yes…NYC, no. And that’s just for starters.
No one is horrible in this movie, but all of the actors deserve so much better. Please, someone give CZK a great script. She is so talented and gorgeous. Won’t someone help her out? And my beloved Russell Crowe…What has happened? I’m praying that your future has better films in it. At least Mark Wahlberg has “Ted” in his recent past, but he is way too much a creature of Boston to ever convincingly play a New Yorker.
Oh, yes, there is also a subplot involving Taggart and his Puerto Rican actress-girlfriend. But I guess the powers that be decided this plot was going nowhere, because it’s dropped mid-film, never to be heard from again.
Political corruption can make for a very good movie. Sex and corruption can also make for a good movie. However, Brian Tucker and Allen Hughes don’t know how to wed the two. Therefore, you are left to ponder the casting.