Rating : 7/10
Release Date : 18th January, 2013
Time : 109 minutes
Director : Allen Hughes; Writer : Brian Tucker; Music : Atticus Ross, Leopold Ross, Claudia Sarne
Starring : Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alona Tal, Natalie Martinez, Jeffrey Wright, Barry Pepper, Kyle Chandler
Russell Crowe loves being in power and will do anything to stay there. He is the Mayor of New York, a wheeler dealer, media savvy, into bed with big business and real estate (sounds like one of our politicians, doesn’t he) and is not afraid to using a bit of brawn or blackmail when he gets a chance.
Mark Wahlberg is tough as nails cop turned private detective. The kind of guy though, who’ll quit alcohol for seven years to please his wife (Natalie Martinez). Or the kind who’ll let his clients run up a tab of $42,000 almost making him broke, kept afloat only by the diligent efforts of his devoted secretary (Alona Tal). He’d left the force under a bit of a cloud, the full story behind that being revealed later. But now, seven years after he’d left the police, he gets a call from the Mayor’s office.
The mayor, right in the thick of a neck & neck re-election campaign, wants Wahlberg to check on his wife, Zeta-Jones, whom he suspects of adultery. And is willing to pay extra for quick results.
The film is a slow, gripping portrayal of politics, love, betrayal and the lust for power. Of murder, shady real-estate deals, adultery and blackmail. The calm, collected Wahlberg is a fine balance to Crowe’s physicality and restless energy. Add Catherine Zeta-Jones’ smouldering presence and barely concealed antipathy for her husband. A rival, Barry Pepper, who is determined to be mayor. A police commissioner, Jeffrey Wright, who doesn’t get along at all with the Crowe. And you have a film that unravels slowly but surely, the whole picture never revealed till right at the end.
What I like about this film is that everyone here has shades of grey, no one is black or white. Probably, the world today is such a place it wouldn’t allow anyone pure to truly exist. This is not a film that will blow your mind away, or make you clap with excitement. But, it’s a simple story well told. And some of their well-etched characters just might stay with you in the trek back from the cinema.