Title – Spenser Confidential (2020)
Director – Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights)
Cast – Mark Wahlberg, Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Iliza Shlesinger, Post Malone, Bokeem Woodbine, Marc Maron
Plot – Disgraced ex-cop and recently released from prison Spenser (Wahlberg) takes on an investigation into the mysterious death of one of his old colleagues, an investigation that leads him to team up with wannabe boxer and new-roommate Hawk (Duke).
“You don’t get the cool gun”
Review by Eddie on 16/03/2020
Since the 2013 surprise box office hit Lone Survivor, filmmaker Peter Berg and his leading man favourite Mark Wahlberg have made a further 4 films together, all too varying degrees of quality, ranging from the very good (Deepwater Horizon) to the very very bad (Mile 22), with Netflix release Spenser Confidential certainly falling more towards the latter pool.
One of the most pointless and strange features to be released so far in 2020, it’s hard too know exactly what the point of this whole exercise is, as Berg and Wahlberg mould crime thriller, comedy and action in an odd rebooting of Robert B. Parker’s “Spenser” novels.
There’s been worse films that have come our way so far this year but Spenser fails to justify its existence outside of letting Wahlberg show us all his still in tip top physical condition and for Berg to put away his shaky cam aesthetic to throw a bunch of classic songs at us to mask the fact his film is devoid of any real character or energy.
There are no surprises here within Spenser’s story as Wahlberg’s justice seeking cop is released from a stint in prison to find himself instantly investigating a leading cops mysterious murder, an investigation that sees him teaming up with Winston Duke’s wannabe boxer Hawk, in what should be a mismatched buddy win, but a team-up that never gets out of first gear due to Hawk’s seriously underwritten role.
Both Wahlberg and Duke have charisma, evident through their recent works but together they never get to shine as Wahlberg takes over most of the films key scenes and Duke gets shunted to the side (perhaps a reason why his accent seemingly changes from scene to scene?).
With everything story wise too predictable and generic, the films best chance to become something memorable or enjoyable was to get the most out of its leading men but Berg and his screenwriter’s Sean O’Keefe and Brian Helgeland were on evidence here unable to come up with the core ingredients to make this happen.
For Netflix this is a big step backward for many of their recent high-profile efforts which have all ranged from great to thoroughly enjoyable, while for Berg and Wahlberg, this instantly forgettable event is perhaps an example of while their frequent collaborations could do well to take a decent break.
Final Say –
There will be worse films released in 2020 but Spenser Confidential is one of the most lifeless and pointless, failing to justify its existence as it meanders along its way to the finish line.
1 ½ cloud rants out of 5