When he engages with his material, Mark Wahlberg is very watchable. But give him a poor script, like the one for derivative political thriller ‘Broken City’, and he’s the acting equivalent of slow-drying paint. Wahlberg stars as Billy Taggart (now that’s a movie hero name), a disgraced cop turned private detective whose work for New York Mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) leads him to uncover a seedy web of intrigue, double-dealing, backhand payments and… are we still awake?
‘Broken City’ is never actively bad, and it borders on entertaining at times. But from the frosty photography to the forgettable score, from the by-numbers dialogue to the non-committed performances, it’s a pale imitation of more memorable movies and TV shows, notably ‘All the President’s Men’ and ‘State of Play’. It’s a shame because somewhere in here there’s a cogent, timely attack on the links between business and politics.