Broken City is a thriller from 2013, directed by Allen Hughes and featuring Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe in the lead roles.
Wahlberg stars as Billy Taggert a former NYPD detective who lost his job following a shooting of a suspect. The investigation following the shooting sees an intervention by the mayor of the city – Nicholas Hostetler (Crowe) to ensure Taggert exonerated within the shooting.
7 years later, now an established private detective, Taggert is approached by Hostetler to conduct an investigation. This investigation, taking place during the mayoral election, is to follow his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones) whom he suspects is having an affair.
As Taggert carries out the investigation, he finds himself drawn into a murky world of politics, suspicious deals and murder. All against the backdrop of the election, as Crowe aims to retain his position against the challenge of the wealthy Jack Valliant (Billy Pepper).
This is a decent enough political thriller that is fairly formulaic but with good enough performances by Crowe and Wahlberg to create tension throughout and it being an above average thriller, with all of the hallmarks of a modern take on the traditional film noir style.
Its certainly one of Wahlberg’s better films in recent years and works well in allowing the story of the moment unravel, whilst at the same time opening up secrets of the past. It’s not one of the great political thrillers (I would put Crowe’s State of Play above it if you haven’t seen it) but it does have a murky, late night New York style to it that works and its an enjoyable enough couple of hours.
Certainly having watched a couple of Mark Wahlberg turkeys recently (Pain and Gain, Transformers), this is better than them, but its not great.