starring Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Barry Pepper, Kyle Chandler, Natalie Martinez and Jeffrey Wright
written by Brian Tucker
directed by Allen Hughes
Based on the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz, Broken City is an exciting crime thriller. Mark Wahlberg stars as police detective Billy Taggart turned private investigator, and Russell Crowe as Nicholas Hostetler, the mayor of New York City who hires the private detective to investigate his wife. Taggart was involuntarily retired from the NYPD after a questionable shooting of a rape suspect. Unknown to him Mayor Hostetler has video surveillance footage of the incident proving that it was definitely a police murder. At the time, though, the politics of the situation require the mayor to embrace the detective as a hero when he is acquitted of a murder charge. But the mayor is cunning, he has a long memory, and he’s adept at using people for his own purposes even over long stretches of time. And so it is that several years later the Mayor hires Billy to spy on his wife Cathleen (Catherine Zeta-Jones), but with the secret plan of framing him for the murder of the man he already knows his wife is sleeping with. He uses the old security footage to blackmail Billy into going along. There’s no statute of limitations on murder, you know.
There are anomalies with the plan that raise Billy’s suspicions, however. He starts to investigate a little more carefully from a different angle, not just from an adultery perspective. That’s when things start to fall apart. When the mayor realizes that Billy isn’t playing along he becomes dangerous. You gotta watch your back in old fashioned hardscrabble New York politics.
In the end Billy turns the tables on Mayer Hostetler who is arrested for murder on the eve of his own re-election. But in turning on the Mayor Billy knows he puts himself at risk of arrest on the old murder charge, which is what happens in the final scenes.
Jeffrey Wright plays Police Chief Carl Fairbanks. I always like Wright. He’s handsome.