To paraphrase Roman Polanski's masterful noir, it's not Chinatown. Not for lack of trying, though, as burly gumshoe and disgraced ex-cop Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg) initiates a creaky, convoluted plot by taking 50 grand from lubricious New York mayor Hostetler (Russell Crowe) to find out who's shtupping Hizzoner's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Before you can say Noah Cross, Billy finds himself drawn into a maelstrom of corruption, shady real estate deals, extortion, murder, and half-baked dialogue. This, plus the ordeal of watching his actress wife get humped in an "indie" movie, drives the recovering alcoholic Taggert back to the Jameson bottle, allowing Wahlberg to stir from his inertia and draw on his explosive physicality. Meanwhile, director Allen Hughes tries to be "indie" himself by pointlessly circling the camera around random scenes. Jeffrey Wright distinguishes himself in the star-heavy cast as the morally ambiguous police commissioner; for his reward he gets the best line in the film.