Spenser Confidential – A Netflix Original Movie – 6.5/10
‘Spenser Confidential’ is Mark Wahlberg’s genius venture with Netflix. This cop drama movie can best be described as a guilty pleasure and at home Sunday afternoon watch. The plot of the film is not a new concept that viewers have not already seen. The film does have several laughs and lots of fist to face action, however does lack the strength to be a cinema watch. With that being said, no wonder this film is on Netflix and for viewers to be able to watch in the comfort of their homes. The chemistry between the actors is the saving grace of this movie, as they feed off each other’s performances in a very natural and beautiful way.
Mark Wahlberg plays the character of Spenser. Mark Wahlberg nailed this role as we notice throughout the course of the film, that Spenser is more like Mark Wahlberg than Mark Wahlberg himself. Spenser is a former Boston cop who has just finished his 5 year sentence for assaulting a Police Officer, who happened to be his commanding officer. Although to be fair to Spenser, the guy was a domestic abuser and a crooked cop. We do see that the brothers in blue don’t take kindly to Spenser’s actions. One day before Spenser is set to leave the prison, he encounters a minor hurdle when he is attacked by a bunch of goons in the prison library. This hurdle does get him thinking that someone on the outside has set this up, and now begins to question, who?
Spenser leaves prison to start his new life, he is picked up by his confidant Henry played by Alan Arkin. The very same day, Spenser’s former Commanding Officer, who he assaulted is found dead in a school bus parking lot. Any guesses as to who the prime suspect is? Yes, you got it! Spenser is on the top of that list. Soon enough it becomes clear to everyone that Spenser has an alibi and is not guilty. However, a younger cop is found outside his house in his car, with a bullet through his brain making it seem like a suicide. Spenser knew this young cop and refused to believe that this was done by him. Despite all the accusations of narcotics being “found” in his house. Spenser is quick to know that something is fishy and is certain that the cop was killed and did not commit suicide, thus beginning the investigating. All Spenser wanted to do was get his truck driving license and move to Arizona. However, he is a cop after all, and wants to get to the bottom of this. As the audience we are made to feel this itch that Spenser has, in order to solve and get to the bottom of this profane murder conspiracy.
This movie will be a little confusing to those who have read Wonderland by Robert B. Parker published in 2013. Peter Berg, has only borrowed the main character, the dog track and a few of the supporting characters from the book. This movie is not an adaptation of the novel, in fact it is different to the novel and only has certain elements of the novel. So readers who were or are going to watch this movie with the expectation that it is an adaptation of the novel, I would recommend not to go with that expectation as it will be a letdown for you. This movie is best watched without any expectations from it and purely for its entertainment factor.
Mark Wahlberg fans will realize that he has found a franchise friendly character that he absolutely nails. Some of the characteristics of our main character, Spenser have been tailor made for Wahlberg. It’s not a surprise that the Boston elements are pushed to an extreme of the spectrum in this movie. Along with that, the fact that Spenser is a boxer, helps the audience identify Wahlberg as Spenser because of his build and body shape.
This film marks the fifth collaboration between Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg. With that being said this is the first time the duo has worked on an original story. It is definitely a good effort from an entertaining point of view but does lack a bit of strength in the screenplay. It is clear why the two work together often. Peter Berg does know how to get the best out of Mark Wahlberg, without having him play against his type and range. The actor knows and fits the gloves of soldiers, boxers, policemen and the noblest of society.
The World of Movies Rating of Spenser Confidential – 6.5/10
I can summarize this movie as an entertaining, fun, buddy cop film. Wahlberg and Berg have proved to the audience that they can also make a light movie for a change. Winston Duke as Hawk, who is Spenser’s partner when he is investigating the murder conspiracy as a civilian, has a very calming presence on screen and this is because he is so big and bulked up that we are always led to believe that he will keep us safe, this is soon turned into reality when he is seen throwing men across the room and through the walls effortlessly. Alan Arkin as an ill-tempered old guy definitely adds to the laughs in the movie. However, Iliza Schlesinger wears the crown of the comic relief/romantic interest. Bokeem Woodbine as the antagonist causes menace on screen with his sly smile. I would not suggest this movie for a cinema watch but definitely recommend watching it on your couch in the comfort of your home, which is why it makes perfect sense it is a Netflix Original.
The World of Movies Rating – 6.5/10
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Movie Title: Spenser Confidential
Directed by: Peter Berg
Written by: Brian Helgeland, Sean O’Keefe
Main Cast: Mark Wahlberg as Spenser, Winston Duke as Hawk, Alan Arkin as Henry Cimoli, Iliza Shlesinger as Cissy Davis
Year of Release: 2020
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Country of Origin: USA
Running time: 111 Minutes
Production Company: Netflix
Distributed by: Netflix
Image Source: Screenshots taken from the movie.
Reviewed by: Rahul Khater