Keepin’ It Reel: “Spenser Confidential”

Cassidy McKnight, Staff Writer

As the number one rated Netflix movie in the United States right now, I just had to take my own look at Mark Wahlberg’s latest film, “Spenser Confidential.” Normally, I’m not a big fan of action movies except the Fast and Furious series, but this movie was good to say the least. If you like any of Mark Wahlberg’s other action films or if you like Post Malone, believe it or not, you’ll enjoy this movie, even if it’s just a little.

“Spenser Confidential” begins with a police officer named Spenser, played by Mark Wahlberg, landing in jail for beating up his police captain (Michael Gaston). Of course, he was trying to get to the bottom of a homicide coverup his captain orchestrated, but only the audience and Spenser know about that. The same holds true when he gets out of jail five years later after a send-off prison brawl with Post Malone’s character.

After leaving prison, Spenser plans to get the hell out of Dodge and restart his life in a peaceful neighborhood, but if you’ve seen any film Wahlberg is in, you’d know peace just wasn’t in the cards. When his old captain is murdered it becomes clear that the series of events that landed him in jail is hardly over, and he takes matters into his own hands. He also finds another officer with a gunshot wound to the head, who he knew back in the day. He realizes things are even more complicated when there are narcotics supposedly found in the other officer’s home.

With this resolution, he creates his own vigilante family with his new roommate Hawk and his old boxing coach Henry.

Now Henry, played by Alan Arkin, has enough charisma as an actor to make the film at least a little fun. He has the whole “I don’t understand how to use facetime” scene that creates a little giggle or two and a scene where he chats the ear off a baddie who’s taken him hostage that helps make it a funny yet active film. Winston Duke, who plays Spenser’s roommate Hawk, who is best known for his performances in the “Black Panther” and “Us,” shows the audience that there isn’t a scene in which he can’t steal the spotlight.

Mark Wahlberg, by contrast, isn’t such an adaptable performer. He can achieve greatness with the right kind of role, usually aggressive types (“The Departed”), or by lampooning that image (“The Other Guys”) or with the right director (“Boogie Nights”). But without any kind of strong backbone, he tends to falter in his abilities. His performance in “Spenser Confidential” amounts to a Saturday Night Live impression of himself, rather than a compelling character.

Overall, the film was good. It had a good storyline, good plot, good climax and the cliffhanger was good; but that’s all it was: good. I wasn’t overly impressed with how it turned out. As far as action movies go, it wasn’t one of my favorites and there wasn’t enough of a funny atmosphere to consider it a comedy either. I like Mark Wahlberg in just about any comedy movie he’s in, but “Spenser Confidential” just did not hit the same mark for me as any of his other films did. Given the good storyline and the decent acting done by Wahlberg, Arkin and Duke, I would rate this film a 4/10; keep in mind the only reason I didn’t give it a 3/10 rating was because of the amount of gore in the fighting. If you absolutely love Wahlberg, this film is for you. If you’re obsessed with Post Malone, this film is for you. But for me, it just didn’t hit the mark, despite being rated number one on Netflix in the United States.