Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 18 January 2013 13:00

'Broken City' reveals bad apples in the Big Apple

'Broken City' reveals bad apples in the Big Apple brokencitymovie.com
Written by Martha K. Baker
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

  • Director: Allen Hughes
  • Dates: Opened January 18, 2013

Just as the song promises and "Broken City" delivers, New York, New York, is a "helluva town." Only, the movie, unlike the song, is dark and murderous and craven. "Broken City" posits that the Big Apple has a bad apple for a mayor, plus a killer cop, an adulterous First Lady, and thugs in every echelon of society.

Billy Taggert is the killer cop, or so the opening scene would suggest, but the second scene, in which he's exonerated in court, would suggest the opposite, only the third scene in which the mayor and the police commissioner announce they have proof that Billy did kill a homicidal maniac that night and should resign from the force, suggests the opening scene had a point. And, thus, seven years later, Billy is a private investigator with a loyal secretary named Katy. Billy is better at collecting proof for his clients than he is at collecting pay from them, so Katy has to play tough cop.

And then the mayor, his hair slapped on his skull like a cap, calls Billy in to determine with whom the First Lady is cuckolding him. The money looks good -- and Billy can use the money -- so he takes the job even though he's not too sure about the mayor's agenda. The mayor is in a hot election with a man named Valliant, who claims the mayor is twisted up in bad development deals in a housing project where Billy's wife's sister was killed on the night shown in the first scene. No surprise that the mayor's assignment is a double cross and undoing the crosses is as tricky as getting the kinks out of a tiny gold chain.

Mark Wahlberg, so good in "Boogie Nights," barely carries "Broken City" in the role of Billy. Perhaps it's because the character of the cop was written by Brian Tucker to be just one seed in the Big Apple. Or maybe Billy, and, thus, Wahlberg, is surrounded by such a good supporting cast, including Russell Crowe as the mayor, Catherine Zeta-Jones as the mayor's angry wife, Jeffrey Wright as the police commissioner; Barry Pepper as the valiant candidate for election, Kyle Chandler as the candidate's campaign manager, and Griffin Dunne as a corporate thug. Alona Tal is especially good as Katy the secretary in the Ann Sothern tradition.

Director Allen Hughes, one of the twins who directed "Dead Presidents," writes the label "noir" all over "Broken City." The only light in the film seems to come at night from brake lights and skyscraper windows and gun sparks. Camera shots of gun shots and publicity shots are very close to pores and tats and tuxes, but these are not intimate, just invasive. "Broken City" is violent, formulaic and loud -- a chuck flick.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight


Dad Jr: Get Down. Hard.

Sun June 29

Graham Pagano

Mon June 23
Graham Pagano's debut album Quit Complaining is a high charged mix of old and new music. his old blues and classic country feel blended up with a rock and roll attitude makes this stripped down album explode…

KDHX Recommends

July
Saturday
26

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014

Genevieve at Harvest Sessions 2014 Harvest Sessions welcomes Genevieve -- featuring Rebecca Ryan and Leslie Sanazaro -- to the West Pool Pavilion for a morning of acoustic music. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers'...


July
Sunday
27

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars

88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round Welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars 88.1 KDHX Musical Merry-Go-Round welcomes Sugar Free All-Stars for a family matinee Sunday, July 27 at Noon. Kids under two are free. $8 advance tickets on sale now. Tickets available at the door for $10. Kids under two are free. For...


July
Thursday
31

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys

Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys KDHX presents Bradford Lee Folk & The Bluegrass Playboys at The Stage, July 31 at 8pm. Tickets available online.   Born in Louisiana and raised in Missouri, Folk remembers watching his Dad pick the country blues on a...


Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at answers.kdhx.org.

Online Users

3 users and 10437 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook