Spenser Confidential (2020) - USA
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
There is a lot of downtime and adequacy in the long time paring of Director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg in the Netflix original film “Spenser Confidential”. That’s precisely the problem with this film as the audience doesn’t really care what happens next or the consequences to any of the characters. It is that kind of film where a lot of things is happening, but nothing of note really matters and the adrenaline never reaches a high point. Sure we get plenty of brutal action scenes and car chases, but apart from being loud and adequate, the film never rises from its genre convention to be anything other than being wholly average and just adequate.
Mark Wahlberg plays the ex-cop whose sense of justice leads him into the world of corruption and deeper society pains that ended him locked up in jail for bashing an alleged corrupt cop. The film follows Wahlberg’s journey out of prison and continues his investigation and purse of justice, while paring him up with the unlikely Winston Duke (in stoic and big friendly giant mode) and dealing with a half psycho ex girlfriend (played with character by the comic genius Iliza Shlesinger). We also get pensioner Alan Arkin as the mentor waving in the background.
All in all, “Spenser Confidential” lacks what you call an entertainment factor and despite all the good intentions and efforts in the action scenes, the film ultimately fails to deliver. It’s a shame as Wahlberg is a charismatic action star and his previous 4 collaborations with Peter Berg solidified his career. As for any planned sequels as indicated in the finale, it will most likely be on hold, unless they come up with a real story to tell.
I rated it 5/10