Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg are bringing their fifth collaboration straight to Netflix. Whether that means that SPENSER CONFIDENTIAL We’ll reveal in our review whether it’s just B-stock or whether you can take a look at it.
In order to solve the case, the unlikely duo have to come together…
The plot summary
Five years after police officer Spenser (Mark Wahlberg) brutally beat up his superior and was booked for it, he is released from prison. The ex-cop with the integrity of his moral compass and short patience temporarily stays with his former mentor and boxing trainer Henry (Alan Arkin), but wants to leave his old home of Boston behind him forever and ever. But then his former superior is murdered, whereupon Spenser finds himself in the cops’ sights. Spenser, on the other hand, senses that Boston needs him: The fact that his sleazy ex-boss was virtually executed points to dangerous new activities in the local underworld. When an ex-colleague who was valued by Spenser is also killed, he changes his plans and quickly becomes a snooper who takes the law into his own hands to shed light on this darkness. He receives support from his former mentor’s new protégé, the aspiring MMA fighter Hawk (Winston Duke), as well as from his unpredictable ex-girlfriend Cissy (Iliza Shlesinger)…
Movie meaning of ending
Two US filmmakers are sometimes referred to as “Michael Bay light” by film fans. One is McG, who actually often has a Bayesque aesthetic in mind with his easily digestible, fast-paced and polished action films. And because McG lacks the megalomania of Michael Bay, the “light” addition is quite fitting. However, through his Netflix film “The Babysitter”, McG has managed to make us look at him from a new angle – because the bloody horror comedy with Samara Weaving is a conscious clash of tones, a feverish dream from Kenny Ortega’s Disney Channel -Ware-meets-Joe-Dante-humor-and-Sam-Raimi-fun-with-the-horror-joy. The other filmmaker who is regularly compared to the “6 Underground” director is Peter Berg – although in this case it is quite a mystery how he got that label. Yes, with the easy-going buddy action comedy “Welcome to the Jungle” he fished in similar waters as the very early Michael Bay. And then of course there is the legendary failure “Battleship”, which poached in “Transformers” territory. But the majority of Peter Berg’s work is much more dogged and serious than Michael Bay’s entire work. Peter Berg’s collaborations with Mark Wahlberg in particular are more like (sometimes successful, sometimes sobering) action dramas than bombastic popcorn fun. Berg’s Netflix film “Spenser Confidential,” on the other hand, takes us back to Berg’s earlier work and thus into “Michael Bay light” waters. Which isn’t all that bad.
Hawk (Winston Duke), Henry (Alan Arkin) and Spenser (Mark Wahlberg) during their investigation.
Although films like “Boston” or “Deepwater Horizon” have their strengths, they all dare to walk a difficult tightrope. Because Mark Wahlberg almost always makes his characters instinctively stubborn and slightly grumpy. If a serious or even pathos-laden tone is added, things threaten to tip over. “Mile 22” is a prime example of this: Although the film expresses very clear criticism of the actions of its main character and strictly questions the trigger-happy foreign policy actions of the USA, many people only received the narrow-minded, ill-tempered and aggressive surface of this construct, so that the film was misinterpreted as US propaganda. If you consider how extremely entertaining Mark Wahlberg is in films where he can counteract his harsh charisma with humor (see for example: “Daddy’s Home 2” and “Suddenly Family” ), you can long for a more light-hearted Berg film . And Peter Berg now gives us that with his fifth collaboration with Wahlberg. Here Wahlberg is allowed to drive a truck as an impulsive but well-meaning and snarky ex-cop, uncontrollably bulldozing everything that comes his way and snapping to his bewildered buddy: “My plan is to run over everyone!” And in desaturated colors , grim prologue, in which the title character beats another man bloody and therefore suggests another Berg/Wahlberg film in the “Mile 22” style, is broken up with a mischievous “The motherfucker deserves it!”
“Spenser Confidential” certainly doesn’t reinvent the wheel: two unlikely guys investigate a confusing murder case to which they have personal ties, but they quarrel and take down a few things and bad guys. Tailor-made buddy action comedy. But at least the authors Sean O’Keefe and Brian Helgeland (“Legend”) vary the usual character dynamics of such films. We don’t have the rule-follower and the improviser, the bitter and the silly (hobby) snooper. But the experienced, at the same time impulsive, yet insightful Spenser and the well-connected, clever, yet always critically questioning Spenser. “Black Panther” supporting actor Winston Duke plays this MMA fighter with casual, charming wit, making a very entertaining addition to Wahlberg’s titular hero – one can undoubtedly imagine more cases with this duo. If “Spenser Confidential” is continued, one can only hope that the plot will be more developed. Because the villains and their plot are designed as if on a drawing board and the gathering of evidence in “Spenser Confidential” is therefore pretty arbitrary. At least the two-dimensional, but skillfully played supporting characters (Alan Arkin and Iliza Shlesinger hit their punchlines unerringly) and the fast-paced action scenes keep the plot loose. There are enough mass brawls, chases with absurd twists and snappy musical accompaniment to make “Spenser Confidential” an enjoyable evening on Netflix.
Conclusion: Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg, in a good mood, please: “Spenser Confidential” is a light-hearted buddy action comedy that doesn’t have too many new ideas, but is almost constantly fun.
“Spenser Confidential” is now available on Netflix.