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Broken City  : It’s Dirty Nicky This Time
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Friday, January 18, 2013
Allan Hughes
Mark Wahlberg, Catherine Zeta Jones, Russell Crowe
An ex-cop-turned-detective discovers grime and treachery as he digs deeper. A clean-up job is what his city requires and that makes for a well-knit political thriller.

The plot: When Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) accepts a contract from Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) to spy on his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta Jones), he discovers more than just domestic dirt. The more he digs, the murkier his discovery of mayoral politics with contender Jack (Barry Pepper) also in the fray. Billy is astounded that the city’s security is being entrusted in such dirty hands.

The good: The screenplay penned by Brian Tucker is coherent and brilliantly weaves a series of twists and turns as a basic investigation burgeons into a wholesome political thriller with all its nastiness in place. The performances are par excellence with Oscar winners Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta Jones delivering underplayed performances, though it is Mark Wahlberg who really stands tall from Frame 1, even given the veteran company around him. The direction by Allan Hughes is strong as he goes solo for the first time without brother Albert Hughes.

The bad: It gets a little patchy with moments of dry boredom. The content is not extraordinary enough to maintain the interest of viewers who don’t enjoy the genre. There isn’t any humour around, not even in the dialogues. That Catherine Zeta Jones doesn’t have much to do, turns out to be a disappointment.

Overall: It’s fun for a while for those who enjoy the genre but only worth a one-time watch.

– Pooja Thakkar
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