Spenser Confidential

Title: Spenser Confidential
Director: Peter Berg
Genre: Thriller, Action, Comedy.
Main Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Alan Arkin, Winston Duke, Bokeem Woodbine, Iliza Shlesinger.
Runtime: 111 mins.
IMDb rating: 6.2/10.
My rating: 6/10.
Quick summary: Ex-cop Spenser has just spent five years inside for assaulting his former police captain. On the night he is released, that same captain is brutally murdered. Conincidence? The Boston City Police Department don’t seem to think so. Spenser must team up with his roommate, Hawk, to clear his own name and solve the crime.

Mark Wahlberg and Winston Duke in Spenser Confidential (2020)

Let me start off by saying that this movie will be exactly what you think it will be. This is Mark Wahlberg’s bread and butter. He is the same character in this flick as he has been in any film he has led in the last sixteen years. He is the cocky, confident Boston cop/gangster/pressured father who wears a lot of overcoats and XXL hoodies. He’s gonna get in a fight because of his fast-talking and he’s gonna beat up at least three or four guys in the process. He will take down criminal enterprises because of a personal slight. This is not a criticism. I can honestly say that I enjoy the majority of Marky-Mark’s movies. All I am telling you is that you shouldn’t go into this movie expecting anything other than a ‘Mark Wahlberg’ movie.

The plot moves along at a nice pace and you don’t really feel like you are watching something for almost two hours. There are some small problems with consistency, however. At times the movie is light and fluffy. Alan Arkin and Iliza Shlesinger provide the brevity. Winston Duke (Us, Black Panther) is funny as the comically strong Hawk (nobody questions his name throughout the entire movie). Mark Wahlberg gets some laughs with his tried and tested out of breath, always exasperated and aggressively Boston accent. He sounds like someone is in his ear telling him his number is next up at the DMV and at the last second informing him that there was a delay and he’ll be seen whenever they get a chance. “You gotta be freakin’ kidding me!”, or some variation will make an appearance in most of his movies. Then, randomly, to push the story forward, the plot will grow dark, morbid and bleak. This film deals with police corruption, racism and drug trafficking, yes, but there is no clear path from the light side to the dark. At one point, Alan Arkin, Winston Duke and Mark Wahlberg are sitting at a bus stop, spying on an Irish mob boss. They mock him for being obese, a gangster and the fact that he wears tracksuits like he’s living in the 90s. The very next line Mark is telling the other two about how the same comically large gangster intimidated protesters years earlier and had one particular woman beaten to death by lower level gang members. They then proceed to show this beating. It was at odds with the earlier tone of the movie, and while the incident is brought up as a plot device, nothing as dark as that is seen again. Sure, there is plenty of violence as Spenser and Hawk fight gangs and win each time, but nothing as inhumane as that is broached again.

Mark Wahlberg, Alan Arkin, and Winston Duke in Spenser Confidential (2020)
There’s the boys, now

This movie is on Netflix. It took me a while to watch it since its release as I have an irrational aversion to crude advertising and product placement. Netflix have to promote their originals, I get that, but I immediately shy away from any of their newest shows and movies because they are being forced upon me. In saying that, I do recommend watching Spenser Confidential. It is not the best action movie you will see this year and it is not the best Mark Wahlberg movie you will ever see, but it is something fun and action packed to pass a few hours during quarantine.


I talk a bit about this movie on my podcast, The Rathpeacon Rmabler Podcast. I released the first episode last Monday and the second episode will go live in a few hours. I talk about movies, tv shows and whatever else enters my mind in a little over half an hour. Thank you to everyone who listened and supported me. Special thanks to my girlfriend, K. She listens to my mad ideas and supports me no matter what. An absolute gem of a human being.
Keep an eye out for my podcast later on on this page. It is on Spotify, Podbean and hopefully Apple Podcasts very soon. Stay safe out there!


2 thoughts on “Spenser Confidential

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