For just about all of its 109 minutes, it is readily apparent a whole lot of things have gone wrong with "Broken City," and they started long before a frame of footage was shot. A twisty political crime thriller with transparent aspirations of matching the likes of any number of 1970s "Chinatown"-esque classics, the troubles begin with a deluge of tired ideas, each one more cliched than the last, carry over to Brian Tucker's detached, overstuffed screenplay, and then commit the biggest no-no of all by going into production with none of its countless problems worked out. The director is Allen Hughes (2010's "The Book of Eli"), flying solo from his usual collaborator, brother Albert, and the cast is a who's-who of A-listers and upper-echelon character actors who must have signed on by fooling themselves into thinking it would all come together magically in the end. It doesn'tónot at allóthe finished outcome every bit as unfocused and mismanaged as anyone who read the script must have feared. It is awfully difficult to get involved in a film that isn't convincing for a second.
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