Broken City

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(2013) ★★

Channel 4: PREMIERE Sunday 9 August, 11.30pm

Grandstanding New York City mayor Russell Crowe hires ex-cop Mark Wahlberg to trail wife Catherine Zeta-Jones who, Crowe claims, is cheating on him. Wahlberg’s out of his depth, as usual. He always looks mildly perplexed no matter what’s going on around him, which can be a problem in a story relying on predictable left-field revelations. Constructed unsteadily on an old-school corruption-and-conspiracy plot, this bruising, broken-backed thriller is aiming for a sense of State of Play’s political urgency with the kind of edginess Sidney Lumet brought to his great New York movies. But really it’s just another inauthentic Manhattan melodrama. Filmed mostly in New Orleans. Back in the 90s, Allen Hughes made Menace II Society and Dead Presidents with his twin brother Albert. Going it alone after From Hell, he’s since made two TV movies: Touching Evil in 2004 and Knights of the South Bronx (2005). And he could have used some help here.

Certificate: 15

Duration: 109min

IMDB – Broken City

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