FILM FANS: 'Broken City' worth it for Wahlberg, Crowe

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "Broken City." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 out of 4 stars

I wanted to see this movie because of the main character Mark Wahlberg, or as I still call him, Marky Mark. He plays a disgraced ex-cop who seeks revenge and redemption after being framed by a crooked mayor, which is played by Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones plays the mayor's wife. Seven years later, the mayor hires Wahlberg to follow his wife thinking she's having an affair, then the story line begins jumping all over the place, a bit too much. All three of the main characters gave a good performance, yet could have done a much better if the movie was better written.

I will still go see any movie that Wahlberg is in because he's a great actor, but would like to see him more in a different role other than a cop. Overall, I would just say wait for the rental.

-- Kelly Cain, Lawrenceville

2 out of 4 stars

This film has an all-star cast including Mark Wahlberg, Catherine Zeta-Jones, who had disappointingly minimal lines, and Russell Crowe in a non-singing role, yet nevertheless, still the villain.

Billy Taggart, former cop now private detective played by Wahlberg, is assigned a seemingly simple, uncomplicated assignment of discovering and proving who the mayor's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is having an affair with. Of course, there's more to the story than meets the eye -- murder, spying and under the table deals are all integral parts of the story. The main theme, though, did seem to be dated. I was waiting to see a large model of one of the wireless phones appear in a scene, or some other sign that this took place in another era. Some of the subplots seemed a bit hard to believe as well.

Although Wahlberg is one of the few actors who can convey so much meaning with just facial expressions and body movement, it's an over-rated movie for good reasons. It's worth a before noon admission of $6 showing to see Wahlberg and Crowe act, but I had higher expectations than were delivered.

-- Cathryn Veal, Lawrenceville

3 1/2 out of 4 stars

I was prepared to dislike this movie due to the review that was published last Friday, thus went to the movie without expecting much. I was surprised by the quality whodunit drama.

The puzzle starts ensnaring you slowly until it tightens like a boa constrictor and when you think you've solved the puzzle, the director twists the plot and you suddenly understand you've been suckered, like detective Billy Taggart (played by Mark Wahlberg) got suckered into Mayor Hostetler's (Russell Crowe) game. Catherine Zeta-Jones always looks great and plays an important part of this detective drama as the mayor's wife and initial target of his game.

Also enjoyed the acting of Alona Tal with a refreshing role as Katy Bradshaw (Billy's assistant). Not to give away the plot -- this movie is one of the best movies I've seen in the past few years -- may have struck an internal nerve on what it depicts: power, corruption and revenge. Nothing sci-fi, just a plain pure dark detective political intrigue drama.

Remember that nothing is what it seems. Will also watch it again when it comes out online (no longer do the DVD thingy). Do I sound like a broken record? Or is it just a broken city?

-- Alfred Richner, Duluth