Movie review: 'Broken City' offers monotonous urban decay

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If you're down and out, living in a decaying city and being manipulated by scandalous politicians, you'd be perturbed, right?

But Mark Wahlberg's disgraced cop living in a corrupt New York City rarely furls his eyebrow in the ho-hum thriller "Broken City."

Director Allen Hughes, one half of the Hughes Brothers (who together made "From Hell" and "Dead Presidents"), infuses little electricity into this film noir about a former cop, now private detective, embroiled in a political scandal.

Russell Crowe does his best at being the villainous mayor, while trying to add spark to this potboiler is Catherine Zeta-Jones as the mayor's cheating wife and Jeffrey Wright as the police commissioner. But it's Wahlberg's stone-cold acting and stale character that cause the suspense to collapse.

Urban decay and political backstabbing never felt so monotonous. —


'Broken City'

Opens Friday, Jan. 18, at theaters everywhere; rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence; 109 minutes.