Broken City will not lead anybody’s list for 2013 Academy Award nominations, but for those who like a little political intrigue and blackmail with your popcorn, you just may like this film.
The movie starts out with a murder in a New York City alley (nothing unusual there). We find out that police officer Billy Taggert (Mark Wahlberg), in a drunken rage, has just made Swiss cheese out of some deadbeat that raped and murdered his girlfriend’s sister. Taggert has gotten his revenge, but he now finds himself in deep doo-doo with city hall. Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) has a meeting with Taggert and promises to sweep the whole thing under the table with the condition that he must go.
Taggert leaves the force, goes clean and sober, and starts a detective agency which is failing miserably. When he receives a phone call from the mayor, Hostetler tells him that they need to talk. Taggert obliges, sets up a meeting, and soon finds out that the mayor wants him to tail his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Hostetler, who is now in a neck-and-neck re-election bid with a rival politician (Barry Pepper), wants Taggert to get the scoop on his wife before his opponent can get the information and smear him. After following the mayor’s wife Taggert finds out that she is meeting with the same man (Kyle Chandler) who is running his opponent’s election campaign. He takes pictures of the two together and then returns to the mayor with the dirt for which he has been compensated $50,000 for.
What is the “good” mayor to do? Simple: take the information, confront his wife, and solve the problem under the table. But when his wife’s supposed lover ends up with bullet in his head, Taggert ends up on the wrong side of a murder investigation. Has Taggert been framed? To make matters more complicated the mayor has been pushing a multi-billion dollar real estate venture that many are against.
There is only one solution for Taggert: Get out a good bottle of booze and find out what the hell is going on. The movie has a lot of twist and turns and you will have to listen closely to the dialog, but in the end I think you find the movie entertaining. I recommend it.
(Rated R; 109 minutes.)
My Rating: 3 and ½ out of 5 bottles of Jim Beam.