If I never see Broken City again, I would be happy. It’s not that Broken City was necessarily a bad film. It just wasn’t a good film. There’s nothing to gain out of it, there’s no emotional payoff, there’s little excitement, and there’s no deep performance. But at the same time, it isn’t boring and the performances aren’t horrendous. This is the type of movie where you sit there and watch it and after it’s over, you forget about it very quickly. If anything, it’s just a waste of time.
In Broken City, Mark Wahlberg (The Fighter) plays an ex-cop turned private investigator in New York. He’s having a little trouble making money when out of the blue, the mayor of New York (Russell Crowe) gives Wahlberg as assignment to investigate the mayor’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). The mayor has a feeling that his wife is cheating on him. He wants Wahlberg to stalk her and obtain photo evidence of the affair. As Wahlberg completes the assignment, an unfortunate turn of events takes place that puts Wahlberg right in the middle of a political set-up during election season.
These talented actors definitely weren’t used to their full potential. All of the actors tried to give a great performance, but because the story didn’t quite come together, the performances just ended up being so-so. However, there were two performances in particular that were hard to watch. The first was a young woman named Natalie Martinez. She played Wahlberg’s girlfriend and there was no reason whatsoever for her to be in the movie. I don’t know if they were trying to give Wahlberg’s character more meaning by giving him a girlfriend or what but either way, she didn’t relate to the main plot of the film and her bad acting made it even worse. The irony of her character is that she wanted to be an actress and she happens to be the worst actor in the film. In the movie, she stars in an independent film that’s releasing. When Wahlberg discovers that she has a sex scene with another man, he loses it. In a pathetic scene, he drinks himself half to death and starts yelling at her about the sex scene in front of all of her friends. The film was already a little slow and then when they add in this nonsense of Wahlberg fighting with his girlfriend, the movie almost came to a grinding halt for me. This little side story affected the main story in no way whatsoever. All it did was slow the movie down. The other performance that was hard to watch was Wahlberg himself. Wahlberg over acted so much in Broken City. He was completely over the top with everything he did and said. Some of the things he did in the film came off as laughable when it was supposed to be serious.
Broken City is hard to review because there really isn’t anything that bad about the film. I can’t rip on it because it was a sound movie plot wise. There was just one little side track that took me away from the story. Other than that, I can’t find anything wrong with this movie. But I just can’t say anything good about it either. I wasn’t clawing my eyes out begging for it to end and I wasn’t falling asleep from boredom. However, I wasn’t completely invested in it. None of the scenes managed to grab my attention or my interest and none of the performances managed to wow me. You won’t think about Broken City after it’s over because there’s nothing to take away from it. You probably won’t even talk about it during the car ride home. I don’t recommend paying money to see this in the theaters because it’s not worth it. I don’t even recommend going out of your way to rent it because there’s a better way to spend two hours and there’s no reason to watch this movie. Broken City is the type of movie where you could maybe watch it on cable television because there’s nothing else on. C+