City Hall

"Good"

City Hall Review


There's two things I dislike: politics and long, boring speeches. City Hall has plenty of both, and while Al Pacino is almost cool enough to make me think politics can be okay, it's got so many long speeches that I started looking for the remote control after the third or fourth one.

City Hall is a drama/thriller with most of the thrill sucked out of it. After a ridiculously convoluted opening, filled with the weak voice-over of the Deputy Mayor of New York City, Kevin Calhoun (John Cusack), we find ourselves embroiled in the world of Mayor John Pappas (Pacino). As the film opens, we find a cop and mobster killed in a shoot-out, taking with them the life of a six-year old boy.

The ensuing investigation turns up evidence of corruption in the judicial system, focusing on Judge Walter Stern (Martin Landau, whose talents are wasted here) and in politics, with show tune-singing official Frank Anselmo (Danny Aiello) under the gun. Helping Calhoun in his inquiries is attorney Marybeth Cogan (Bridget Fonda, also wasted, but with a cool haircut)--with whom he develops the requisite love interest.

City Hall has all the elements of a great film except one: a script. Four writers worked on the film, and that was obviously three too many. As a result, the storyline is completely limp. There's no suspense at all, and you'll see the one measly plot twist coming a mile away (not that it makes any sense, just that it's obvious).

And oddly, the remainder of the film is superbly crafted. The ensemble cast is nearly flawless, especially Cusack as the go-for-it right-hand man who has no life outside the Mayor's Office. And after almost two hours, Al Pacino really is the Mayor of NYC. The cityscapes of New York are awesome on the big screen, as well, and the witty humor that punctuates the film does a good job at relieving the tedium from watching the film's lifeless story.

Bottom line: with all this talent, I was expecting a whole lot more.

Pacino swears to tell the truth: the movie just ain't that great.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Friday 16th February 1996

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Castle Rock Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%
Fresh: 13 Rotten: 11

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Edward R. Pressman, , ,

Starring: as Mayor John Pappas, as Deputy Mayor Kevin Calhoun, as Marybeth Cogan, as Frank Anselmo

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.