Directed by: Allen Hughes
OK, this one is a pretty standard fare cop flick that has Billy Taggart (Wahlberg), a well-meaning hero cop who is caught up in a controversy over shooting a civilian (the fact that the guy shot was an accused but exonerated-by-a-technicality individual who “everyone knew” assaulted and killed 15-year-old girl, and that Taggart was tried and found innocent all proved irrelevant, as Taggart was still bounced off the force). Ostensibly there was apparently a witness and evidence to Taggart’s shooting of the assailant, which mysteriously vanished. Now it is seven years later, and Taggart is a private eye, dating the older sister of the dead girl, and — as most cinematic private eyes — teetering on broke.
So when he gets a call from the Mayor (Crowe) that comes with a job offer (along with a $50,000 check), he jumps at the chance to become solvent again. The job is to tail the Mayor’s wife (Zeta-Jones) whom the Mayor says is cheating on him. Add into the mix that the Mayor is running for reelection, there is some sort of upscale land deal that is going to raze low-rent housing (coincidentally where the parents of the dead girl still live), as well as a fare amount of political intrigue that is pretty standard for these types of films, and you have a fairly serviceable potboiler.
Only, (again as can be expected), nothing is really as it seems, and everyone is in bed (both literally and figuratively) with everyone else, and there are back-room deals a-plenty going on throughout the film (the police chief from when Taggart was on the force has leveraged his position to become commissioner, the developer has some shady dealings, and more). So now Taggart has uncovered a city-wide conspiracy of corruption, sex, and murder. Now with his life being threatened at every turn, Taggart is faced with an impossible choice, which could have disastrous repercussions for not only his career but his family as well.
As can be expected, both Crowe and Wahlberg turn in their usual watchable performances with just the right amount of swagger and growl to make you want to care about their characters as well as what is going on. Still, even though this is a very watchable flick, there really is nothing that causes it to stand out from mush of the other recent cop-flicks that we’ve seen. Serviceable, but not stellar.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.