Broken City Review; A Thoughtful Crime Drama

by on May 12, 2013

in Entertainment, movie reviews

Movie review: Broken City delivers a slow burn of a story that does pay out by the end of the third act.  But does it keep the pace fresh enough throughout to keep you awake?

Broken City review

The movie cast includes action stars Mark Wahlberg & Russell Crowe.  They’re supported by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kyle Chandler, Jeffrey Wright and more, in a film directed by Allen Hughes (The Book of Eli).

The leads alone had me thinking this was going to be more of an action flick, but I found Broken City to be more a smart tale of crime, subterfuge and punishment.

In place of an over abundance of action, we find ourselves having heavily fleshed out stories and solid backgrounds and motivations for your characters rather than the flimsy veneers that most action flicks expect you to accept.

I think you’ll like this movie, particularly if you’re a fan of any of the primary cast.

The story is about an ex-cop named Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) who is hired by the mayor of New York City (Crowe), to follow his wife to find out who she’s, well, you know.  He wants to know all the details.

But there’s much more to this tryst and the mayor’s motivations than meet the eye.  And it’s these complications that pull Taggert into a complicated tale of political business aspirations.

And there are a few sub-plots that don’t seem directly relevant to the story, but they’re part of that in-depth story I mentioned.

One distraction I found was Russell Crowe being a mayor of a city.  It didn’t gel with me.  To me, he is an action star and has more of an up front kind of personality rather than the insidious nature your standard movie politicians tend to have.

Wahlberg can be pretty versatile and it seems that no matter what role he’s in, I’ve been pretty good with & Kyle Chandler delivers yet again.  He has this “matter of fact” presentation to his characters that seems to work most of the time.

Dramatic Score 06If you come into this movie expecting action, you may be disappointed.  But if you come into it open minded, you discover that Broken City is a thinking man’s crime drama that reminded me a bit of Hanna or Drive. The few drawbacks, aside from Crowe’s mayor, is the exceedingly slow pace of the first two acts.  But it still delivers an engaging enough story to warrant a 6/10 on my drama scale of movies.

Broken City (Blu-ray / DVD + Digital Copy)

The Blu-ray has a few extras and some previews of movies that I’m glad I saw. There’s the movie trailer, deleted scenes and an alternate ending. Plus a great documentary on putting the movie together that will entertain most behind-the-scenes movie fans, regardless!

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