The Broken City in this character driven crime thriller is New York City, aka Manhattan / The Big Apple. In this fictitious New York City, the not so honorable, Nicolas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) is the Mayor. He's as charming as he is corrupt.
When the film opens we see cop, Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) kill a rapist. According to Taggart, he had no choice. He shot the guy in self defense.
The public is outraged when the court decides that there's not enough evidence against Taggart to bring him to trial. But even though he beats the murder charge, Mayor Hostetler, has no choice but to ask for the policeman's resignation.
Fast forward to seven years later.
Taggart is barely getting by as a private investigator, mainly because he never asks his clients for money upfront and then they refuse to pay. Imagine that.
But even though the dude is broke, he does have a very beautiful girlfriend, Natalie (Natalie Martinez) who just happens to be an aspiring actress. The couple are so in love and in lust, they don't even mind living in a broken down apartment.
So life isn't too bad for Taggart. That is until...
The Mayor, after not seeing the cop for years, calls Taggart out of the blue and hires him to follow his beautiful wife, Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones) The Mayor, supposedly, thinks she's having an affair.
Sounds like a fun movie? Unfortunately, not that much.
The film directed by Allen Hughes, one half of The Hughes Brothers ('Menace 2 Society) is something you've seen over and over again. The story and the characters are very familiar and not in an exciting way.
Having said that, there are a couple of interesting twists in the film.
One involves, Councilman Jack Valenti (Barry Pepper) as the newcomer who's running against the Mayor in the upcoming election, as well as the Police Commissioner (Jeffrey Wright) who seems to dislike everybody.
As far as the acting goes, Russell Crowe is quite good. Zeta-Jones and Wahlberg do what they always do. She looks beautiful and he's Mister Tough, Vulnerable Guy.
So if you're curious, wait to see the film when it comes to Netflix or cable.
John and I are actually in agreement and gave 'Broken City' which opens in theatres, Friday January 18, 2012, a low 2 bagels out of 5 score.