Director Allen Hughes’ Broken City is a solid thriller with very contemporary themes.
Former cop Billy Taggart is a private detective who needs to chase his clients for unpaid bills. When he is hired by the mayor of New York City to tail his wife, Taggart sees it as an easy case. However, it may not be simple adultery that the private detective uncovers…
Written by Brian Tucker, Broken City is very competent in what it does. The film is not wildly innovative, but it is executive well enough to satisfy audiences. Tucker sets up a decent thriller with sufficient twists and turns. There are a few moments of humour and some violent action. However it is the narrative which makes the film tick.
There is a sound level of ambivalence over the motivation of the main characters. This is effective in keeping the audience engaged with the plot. Allen Hughes paces the film well, with the election giving a necessary sense of urgency key to making a thriller such as this work.
Given the setting, it is hardly surprising that Broken City concerns itself with the political world. This theme feels both contemporary and resonant given the growing public awareness of political corruption in the last few years. The financial background of the film is rooted in this period.
Broken City has the polished look of a slick thriller. The film features a good use of music. Performances from the main cast are admirable. The casting of Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones in their respective roles is great. Mark Wahlberg has been cast as a cop several times before, but it is a role he plays well.
Although Broken City does not break any mold, it is well-crafted and entertains throughout. The film is recommended for those who like their political thrillers to contain some action.