"Pervasive Foul Language"
What You Need To Know:
BROKEN CITY has two great lead actors in Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg as the mayor and the detective. However, the plot is too clichéd to make it compelling. Also, the two leads mumble their way through their scenes. It can be entertaining to see a cop bringing down evildoers, but the actual scandal in BROKEN CITY isn’t compelling. In addition, the foul language is so lazy and frequent that it becomes distracting from the plot itself. All told, BROKEN CITY is a mediocre effort.
(BB, C, Ho, PC, Ho, LLL, VV, SS, N, AA, MM) Strong moral worldview in thriller about a proudly Catholic ex-cop turned private investigator who gets caught up in a scandal when the New York City mayor hires him to spy on his wife, plus gratuitous politically correct, pro-homosexual scene shows mayor’s wife promoting same-sex marriage at a rally; at least 140 obscenities and profanities; strong violence includes a shadowy, non-graphic fight between ex-cop and two men with baseball bats, the ex-cop stands over a rapist he just shot dead, cop waterboards a suspect for answers to his investigation, cop shot at in one scene briefly before fleeing in a car chase that careens through crowded city streets, and a dead body with somewhat bloody bullet holes found on the street; protagonist sees live-in girlfriend having sexual relations with another man; upper male nudity; alcohol use and drunkenness; no smoking or drugs; and, a culture of corruption in the city and its mayor’s office, lying, private detective hired under false pretenses.
BROKEN CITY is a mediocre thriller about a proudly Catholic ex-cop turned private investigator, who gets caught up in a scandal when the New York City mayor hires him to spy on his wife. BROKEN CITY has a moral worldview due to the hero fighting corruption. However, undercutting this positive content is a lackluster script, lackluster performances, a really excessive amount of foul language, a rather graphic but brief sex scene, and some strong violence.
In the movie, Mark Wahlberg plays Billy Taggert, a New York City cop stripped of his badge by the mayor years ago when he shot a Latino man who he believed raped and killed his girlfriend’s sister. Taggert becomes a private detective. Now, seven years later, the mayor calls him into his office the weekend before a new mayoral race is ending. Taggert accepts the mayor’s $50,000 offer to spy on the mayor’s wife and see who she’s having an affair with so the mayor can cover it up from the media.
It turns out that the alleged lover is the campaign manager for the mayor’s opponent. Also, the man and the mayor’s wife are merely trading secrets over a massive real estate scandal involving the mayor. As Taggert discovers what’s really happening, the betrayals pile up and people start to die.
BROKEN CITY has two great lead actors in Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg, but the plot is too trite and average to make it truly compelling. Also, Director Allen Hughes allows the two leads to largely mumble their way through their performances, making it hard sometimes to follow the complex mix of characters sometimes. While it’s always fun to see a story about a cop bringing down a corrupt machine of evildoers, the actual scandal in BROKEN CITY isn’t compelling enough when revealed. Thus, the movie feels bland and doesn’t satisfy expectations. In addition, the foul language is so lazy and frequent that it becomes distracting from the plot itself. All told, BROKEN CITY is a mediocre effort. Most moviegoers probably will find it isn’t worth high ticket prices.