Broken City, Wahlberg

Spurred on by its pulsing Kanye West accompaniment -- trailer-speak for “corruption, desire, and violence around the corner” -- the initial look at “Broken City” promised a sleek action-drama with Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe at full genre tilt, and now the first clip from the film has surfaced to confirm that perception completely.

Opting for a terse dialogue exchange instead of fast-paced action setpiece material, the clip shows Wahlberg -- here playing an ex-cop tasked with investigating a New York mayor's wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) for adultery -- realizing the potential danger of the relationship with the politician (Crowe) he's just joined. Utilizing a committed accent and an imposing presence opposite Wahlberg's usual steely demeanor, Crowe looks to be the film's resident scene-chewer, and should serve nicely as a pulpy counterpart to his awards season turn in “Les Misérables.”

Co-starring Jeffrey Wright, Kyle Chandler, Ambyr Childers and Griffin Dunne, it remains to be seen whether the Allen Hughes-directed film can transcend its muddy, conventional surface feel, but we'll find out when the film hits theaters January 18, 2013.