Review: Broken City Ain’t Broke, So Don’t Fix It


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The One Where Crowe Says “Look Up, Look Up, I’ll Never Sing Again”.

Right, it’s 9:30 PM. Picture the scene. You’ve just watched the majestic, erotic masterpiece that is Stoker. (Read about that HERE). You can go Home to an empty house or stick around and see another film. But your mind plays tricks. Why bother? What’s going to live up to Stoker? (Seriously. Read about it HERE). Nothing. So you go Home and dream of David Lynch spiders, right? Or of Kubrick inspired room sets. Or Matthew Goode in a gold jumper. Shit. I meant Nicole Kidman’s golden hair. And how it merges into a scene of long flowing grass. Christ. MAJESTIC. But then you look up. And you realise that Contraband wasn’t all bad. And that, despite your apparent spewing, and excessively irrational hatred of Les Mis, you still love Russell Crowe. Plus, it’s a 15. So you wonder, just wonder, if you’ll get to see Zeta-Jones-Douglas naked. If only for a second. That’s right, kids. I give you… Broken City.

Well, the good news is all of those stupid adverts before, where Marky Mark is telling you he loves 70’s political thrillers? He wasn’t lying. This film, two retarded plot points aside, is good, solid adult fare. And you realise, they *do* make them like this anymore. It reminded me of Lincoln Lawyer. And Fracture. Talky, but engrossing. And talky is fine, (See HERE for a majestic example!). Talky is fine 100% of the time, so long as the talk is good. And the script here is snappy. Crowe, (podgy), gets some great sparring scenes with Marky Mark. And I have to say I really enjoyed it. I text my Dad mid-film, actually, telling him to take Mum to see it. It’s that sort of film.

Then, as soon as I text him there was a graphic sex scene and I felt dirty – in an Alan Partridge way. I text Dad back saying it may not be for Mum. And certainly isn’t for Nan.

the film is sweary too, in a glorious David Mamet style. Fuck this, fuck that. Lovely. SOmetimes there’s a need for that, isn’t there? Just as I have a real need to see just how grim the new Evil Dead is. Occasionally I need a film that is pure filth when it comes to language. The sort of film you break out when you’ve had a tough day at work, or Ofsted have joined your school. Fuck you, you fucking fuck! Ha.

The film is not going to be for everyone. I’ll be thrown deserved pelters for the lack of logic in two crucial plot twists.


“B-B-B-BUT YOU DIDN’T ACCEPT A K-K-INGS S-S-P-E….” They’ll try to stutter to me. Fuck you, I’ll retort. That film’s success is inexplicable, I’ll scream back. Probably demonstrating some of the boxing skills Marky Mark dishes out in this film. And he does, as well. This is probably my favourite Marky Mark film since the underrated We Own The Night. I love that film so much I expected this to be a James Gray film. For the second time in a month I’d been to see a film I didn’t know who it was directed by. Rare. (Well, before this month).

To my pleasant surprise, and justifying some of the water torture that comes late on, it’s an Alan Hughes film. He, who back in ’95 at least, was probably on my radar more than anyone. Maybe even Tarantino. Menace II Society and Dead Presidents. Brilliant. And then he just disappeared. From Hell I love too. Eli, I’ll watch. But more than anything it’s just good to see him directing again.

He’s no Chan-wook Park. But who is? He does the best he can – and in one car chase really lets rip.

And I think that’s why I’ll forgive the film its flaws. Just after the first (major) misstep, (Shredders should be banned from movies. Fact), Hughes ramps things up with a bullet shot that shocked the cinema. Then, a flashy low-budget car chase. And we’re back. It’s very well down.

And the clincher? The ending. If you get an ending in a film that is anything other than riding into the sunset, all ends tied up…. Well, for me, that’s what films are all about.

Welcome back, Russell. Lets lose some of the excess and get us that sequel we’ve all dreamt of…. Proof Of Life 2.