Broken City flew under the radar commercially, but was warmly received by critics as a grungy neo-noir A-lister, starring Russell Crowe, Mark Wahlberg, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Jeffrey Wright and Barry Pepper as players in a corruption scandal that leaves none of the principals untouched.
Set in the Big Apple, the story revolves around the choices of an ex-cop (Wahlberg) with skeletons in his closet that just won’t leave him alone. His spunky assistant Valerie (played by Britney Theriot) steals the last scene right out from under Wahlberg, but I won’t give too much away.
This poem, based on the 48th Psalm, is in the voice of the mayor’s wife (played by Catherine Zeta Jones), pressing a compromised P.I. (Wahlberg) to help expose her husband (played by Russell Crowe) before he gets a fast one past the voters of New York (again).
Power befits a Mayor so highly praised
in New York City’s ruthless commanding heights.
Built on a grand scale, the world’s symbol of wealth,
this city’s imperial skyline rounds out
the Mayor’s turbulent fiefdoms in high style.
Here is a force to be reckoned with – its steel
and glass irruptions spring from the Mayor’s clout.
For when the Ivy League elite conspired,
those proud outsiders could only pass on through.
They themselves witnessed the city’s growth, amazed,
and faced with this great juggernaut, they withdrew.
You’ve seen the whites of their eyes – they shuddered, stared,
writhed in their seats like women or dogs in heat.
With a rallying cry that captured their mood
this Mayor stole his rival’s thunder – crowds cheered!
As we heard in their debate, so we can see
the Mayor’s staying power – this is his town.
The people want him back – he polls in the lead.
You’ve witnessed the Mayor’s generosity
with the fruits of power, ensconced in his hall.
He’s built up a great name, and he extracts praise
from the lapdog press to the satellite news.
His brand of justice sets the tone for business.
All Manhattan is proud to celebrate him,
the burroughs and brownstones are yielding to steel
skyscrapers worth billions because of his trades.
Go visit the brownstones yourself – look around.
Count the families whose homes now stand in his way.
Set your mind to the memories living there,
and find some way to expose his backroom deals
before he robs another generation.
If you don’t act on what you know, he will win.
This Mayor would kill to have his victory.