Wednesday, January 23, 2013
In Theaters: BROKEN CITY (2013)
(US - 2013)
Directed by Allen Hughes. Written by Brian Tucker. Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Kyle Chandler, Natalie Martinez, Alona Tal, Griffin Dunne, Michael Beach, James Ransone, Justin Chambers, Chance Kelly, William Ragsdale. (R, 109 mins)
BROKEN CITY is the kind of big-city corruption drama that a guy like the late, great Sidney Lumet could make in his sleep. Unfortunately, it can't even muster the energy to be anywhere near as compelling as Lumet at his least-inspired. A plodding solo effort by Allen Hughes, one half of the twin Hughes Brothers, who made their mark 20 years ago with MENACE II SOCIETY, BROKEN CITY boasts a fine cast that just seems to be sleepwalking through a really tired script by debuting screenwriter Brian Tucker. Everything is calculated well in advance, nothing is what it seems, and everyone has a secret. With some oomph and enthusiasm, even something this played-out can at least be entertaining. BROKEN CITY is just OK, nothing more. It's formulaic, by-the-numbers storytelling that's about on the level of a lesser LAW & ORDER episode. Despite the A-list headliners, almost everything about this, from the Emmett/Furla Films logo in the beginning to most of the NYC-set film being shot in Louisiana, feels straight-to-DVD.