So there I was, watching Broken City, munching on some turkey jerky I slipped into the theater, and getting ready to start my mid-movie jerk off when it hit me: I’ve seen this movie before. And, more than that, haven’t I seen this movie before recently? Listen, I’ve got a shitty memory but something about Broken City seemed familiar.
I started going through the checklist. It starred a tarnished hero with a mysterious past. The bad dude is a man of power played by well respected cinematic royalty. There’s a blond chick that doesn’t add anything to the plot. And people get murdered because of some real estate conspiracy. WHAT THE FUCK?!?! THIS IS JACK REACHER!!!! I swear to you, I threw my turkey jerky at the screen and lost all interest in jacking it. Ha, just kidding, I never lose interest in turkey jerky or jacking it.
It’s a weird thing that happens, when a different director gets the same plot points and puts his own spin on it. It happened with Antz and Bugs Life, Dantes Peak and Volcano, 500 Days of Summer and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and Debbie Does Dallas and Tiffany Taps Toronto. In fact, for a film dork like me, it’s kind of fun to watch. It’s almost like a film school project. The plot is the same but the genre is different. Broken City is Jack Reacher as a thriller. And Jack Reacher is Broken City as straight action.
That’s the power of genre, bro. It can completely transform the exact same film, even shitty boring films like these. Cause neither is a good film. They’re serviceable, sure. But almost instantly forgettable. Still, if we’re forced to dissect generic films, I’d take Broken City. Cause, sure, it’s a snooze-fest, everything about it is easy to telegraph from a mile away. But it tries harder than Reacher, which always wins points with me.
It’s not like either film had to be made. But, just a heads up, if you’re forced between the two, gun to your fucking head, Broken City should be the boring generic film you pick. Otherwise, you know, pick something radical like Back To The Future or something. Really, yeah, ok, yeah, that should be your rule of thumb from here on out: when in doubt watch Back To The Future.