The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Loose-cannon role by Wahlberg delivers humor to dark thriller

Mayor Hostetler, played by Russell Crowe, and Billy Taggart, played by Mark Wahlberg, exchange words in Broken City. Wahlberg nails his role as a man with questionable morals.
Photo courtesy Black Bear Pictures

By Taylor Jensen/entertainment editor

Mark Wahlberg stars in few movies where he doesn’t kick well-deserved ass. Broken City is no exception.

Ex-cop Billy Taggart (Wahlberg) is, you guessed it, a loose cannon detective for hire with nothing to lose and an eyebrow he won’t hesitate to arch.

A recovering alcoholic and addict, Taggart was fired from the force after narrowly avoiding a murder trial after killing a suspect. The evidence that implicated Taggart was “misplaced” by Mayor Nick Hostetler (Russell Crowe) because he viewed Taggart’s act as heroic. Years later, Hostetler hires Taggart to find and photograph his wife’s lover before the upcoming election. Violence and loud noises ensue.

In its entirety, Broken City is a good film with just a few flaws. Director Allen Hughes does a great job personalizing each performance with close-up shots of the actors’ faces, and writer Brian Tucker provides a clever script with hilarious lines you want to find some excuse to repeat.

But with so many diverse minor characters, true impact was taken from a major one.

Crowe has proven himself as an actor over the years and is more than capable of playing the bad guy. However, we get only glimpses of the corrupt man behind the politician from Crowe. Therefore, it’s hard to establish what he is truly capable of, even when it is revealed.

This movie is predictable in every way but one. Wahlberg’s character, although done before, develops effortlessly throughout the film. His ability to portray a crooked man with a heart of gold that the viewer actually roots for is nothing but commendable.

Taggart is not technically a good person, and even he accepts that. He is brutal and impulsive, selfish and crass. But whenever he makes a joke, the viewer can’t help but laugh. It’s like a Disney fairy tale you can’t help but buy into, except Taggart’s fairy tale has bullets, baseball bats and a whole lot of the f-word.

Disney would not approve, but I do.

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