Friday, May 24, 2013

Film Review: Broken City (2013)

Broken City (Review)
United States/2013
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

NYPD detective Billy (Mark Wahlberg) is arrested for the murder of Mikey, who raped and killed a sixteen-year-old girl. He is saved by Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) when he eliminates substantial evidence against Billy. However, Billy is still forced to retire from the force. Seven years later, Billy is a private investigator and his services are requested by Mayor Hostetler. Original paid to investigate a cheating wife, Billy ends up in a web of lies, corruption, and death.

Although a bit generic, I really enjoyed Broken City. The initial investigation of the Mayor's wife is interesting and often intense. The conversations between Billy and Hostetler were smooth - very fluent and authentic, generally intense. The ulterior motives of each character really keeps you guessing for most of the film; every character has secrets that may benefit different parties, and Billy is caught in-between them. The film continues as an investigative thriller as Billy begins to unravel the mystery, and as he realizes who are the true villains; along the way, Billy will have to fist fight several times, there's a thrilling car chase, and a few heated arguments. What I'm saying is: Broken City manages to be a captivatingly gripping thriller through its action and dialogue.

The film is not perfect. Although it manages to keep you guessing for some time, the ending is predictable. It seems to have a heavy build-up for its twist, but the revelation ends up being underwhelming; the entire film makes it feel like a sinister, unbelievably heinous secret is being kept, but it is in front of your face from the beginning. The story plays it safe, it doesn't stray far from the genre's cliches and you've likely seen a film like this before. However, playing it safe doesn't hurt the film has much as it benefits it as it was still a very entertaining story. The film also fails to explore some concepts it brought up, like Billy's girlfriend and his alcoholism.

The acting was great. Mark Wahlberg plays Billy; he's a charismatic, humorous tough guy and he plays it well; never over-the-top or boring, always just right. Russell Crowe plays the Mayor and his performance is also great; his character is also charismatic, with a pinch of manipulation and corruption on top; these attributes are shown in a great debate scene, and subtly during other conversations. Wahlberg and Crowe work well together as they have some very fluent conversations, they felt very authentic. I also really enjoyed the music in this film, it was well-fitted for the genre.

Overall, Broken City is an entertaining thriller. It has drama, action, thrills, mystery, and even some comedy. It's not the most original film, but it is definitely well-made and very entertaining. I recommend a purchase for fans of the genre, a rental otherwise.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Some strong violence and blood, brief nudity and sex.

No comments:

Post a Comment