While this thriller plays with themes of political ethics and ambition, it merely lets them simmer in the background. Director Hughes is clearly much more interested in macho posturing and the convoluted scandal-based plot, so he lets the cast members merrily chomp on the scenery but neglects to give us anything that engages our brains.
The broken city of the title is New York, where Mayor Hostetler (Crowe) covered up a shooting involving cop Billy (Walhberg) to protect himself seven years ago. Acquitted but disgraced, Billy is now working as a low-rent private detective when the mayor calls in a favour. He hires Billy to find out who his wife (Zeta-Jones) is having an affair with before it derails his re-election campaign against the passionate rising-star Valliant (Pepper). It doesn't take Billy long to get the incriminating photos, but clearly there's something much bigger at stake here, so he continues to investigate the situation, which uncovers such high-reaching corruption that Billy's life is in danger.
Demonstrating how little the film cares about its characters, Billy's long-time girlfriend (Martinez) is dispatched suddenly after a series of arguments during which she refuses to put up with his boorish, chauvinistic stupidity. Why she stuck with him this long is the real question. But this and other eccentric relationships in the plot are much more interesting than the dull property-development boondoggle that Hughes instead decided to focus on. The problem is that this leaves Wahlberg with the only remotely complex character, an intriguing mess of a man who overreacts wildly to everything and yet seems to want to do the right thing.
Continue reading: Broken City Review
Michael Beach and Guest - Michael Beach, Guest San Marino, California, United States Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel's '2013 Winter TCA' Press Gala at The Huntington Library and Gardens Friday 4th January 2013
Bishop played a strip club manager in Kill Bill: Vol. 2 and directed the flop Mad Dog Time back in 1996. He writes, directs, produces, and stars in Hell Ride, so at least audiences will know who to blame for wasting their time and money. A self-adoring, offensively boring homage to biker movies of the '60s, Hell Ride is indeed one of the more hellish cinematic experiences this year.
Continue reading: Hell Ride Review
Ricki and the Flash is a music comedy drama about the high price of a musician's pursuit of fame.
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