Broken City is fine, I suppose. It’s nothing special. It looks glossy, like an episode of CSI or NCIS (though I’ve never seen the latter so I may be way off on that). It’s slick. It does it’s business but it never quite becomes what it hopes it could be, which is a modern-set Chinatown. Where that film exposed fictional corruption in the city planning of Los Angeles in the 1930s, this film deals with similar themes in modern day New York. But where Chinatown had a wonderful aesthetic, really bringing the world the characters inhabited to life, Broken City looks glossy and flashy in a way that cities never really do.
Add to this the fact that the story takes too long to kick off, and when it does it doesn’t seem especially difficult for Wahlberg to find the proof he needs. It’s a shame because there was promise here. No matter what other’s have said, I’m a big fan of Wahlberg. He has a raw energy and charisma that the camera really picks up on, but here he’s a little flat. The same can be said for Crowe, who’s never quite as sleazy as you feel he should be in this role.
So there we have it. It’s borderline adequate and nothing more.