Film review | Broken City – Mark Wahlberg’s tarnished ex-cop tangles with Russell Crowe’s slick mayor

Broken City - Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg plays a tarnished hero seeking redemption in Broken City, a solidly old-fashioned crime thriller that ploughs the familiar furrow of cops, crooks and corruption in New York City.

Wahlberg’s Billy Taggart is a disgraced NYPD officer turned private detective, a boozy, short-fused brawler who gets hired by the city’s slick mayor, played with oily charisma by Russell Crowe, to dig up some dirt on his wife (a regal Catherine Zeta-Jones). Yet the assignment isn’t what it seems and Taggart discovers he’s merely a pawn in some very dodgy real-estate dealings.

A private eye caught up in civic corruption when he thinks he’s investigating marital infidelity? That sounds a good deal like the plot of Chinatown.

Broken City isn’t in the same league as Roman Polanski’s 1974 noir classic by a long shot, but director Allen Hughes, one half of the twin-sibling duo behind 1993’s Menace II Society, steers the story through its various twists while the cast give the sometimes routine action a veneer of class.

In cinemas from Friday 1st March.

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