Spenser Confidential, review of the film with Mark Wahlberg

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Spenser Confidential review

The couple Wahlberg – Berg comes to Netflix with this action comedy loosely based on the novel “Wonderland”By Ace Atkins, who in turn harks back to characters from the crime novel series created by Robert B. Parker. In the cast we also find Winston Duke, Alan Arkin, Iliza Shlesinger, Bokeem Woodbine, Cassie Ventura, Marc Maron and the rapper Post Malone.

The Spenser Confidential plot

Spenser confidential, set in Boston, stars Spenser, a former cop jailed for five years after attacking Boylan, the head of his district, in circumstances that are still ambiguous and unclear. Released from prison, Spenser relies on his old boxing coach, Henry, to rebuild his life, hoping to get his trucker’s license and move to Arizona, thus “escaping” petulant girlfriend Cissy. Things will get complicated when Boylan is found dead, a murder for which Spenser is immediately suspected, and the corpse of another young policeman, of whom a fake suicide has been staged, will also be found. Spenser decides to privately investigate the matter, along with trusty Henry and roommate Hawk, suspecting that it is a major cover-up by the Boston police.

A film of pure entertainment without too many pretensions

Spenser confidential it is a pure entertainment film that is characterized as a rather canonical action film, with an uncertain rhythm narrative at the base and that inserts thriller and topoi veins of comedy, without however being able to renew the action genre and carve out its own dimension within the Netflix catalog. The main storyline focuses on Spenser’s investigation into the perpetrators of the murders and the police and gangster intrigues behind the clean facade of Boston law enforcement; however, the plot not particularly complex and devoid of original and intriguing narrative twists, fails to focus the viewer’s attention on the investigation, as it is devoid of mystery and rather predictable.

You can feel the influence of the 90s television detective stories, despite the presence of numerous action scenes, which attempt to enliven the narrative. Implicitly, the film requires to be carried away by the light-hearted character that distinguishes it, which is why it is, on the whole, an enjoyable entertainment film, thanks to the interaction between the protagonists and the comic gags built on their chemistry, despite the emergence of various platitudes at the level. writing. The narrative plot is rather predictable and the characters present are not particularly distinguished by a brilliant characterization, however the actor’s performances manage to convince and get some laughs.

Spenser Confidential is based on the good interaction between the characters

The interaction between the protagonists works quite effectively, especially thanks to the contribution of Alan Arkin in the role of Henry, who adds comic verve to the vision, and to the hilarious forays of Iliza Schelsinger: stand-up comedian and Texan by birth but here perfectly immersed in the part of Spenser’s bulky and obsessive ex-girlfriend. The film maintains a light and light-hearted tone, starting from a buddy movie base and also making fun of itself from time to time. The fight sequences and the paradoxical situations in which Spenser and Hawk find themselves entangled are able to meet the favor of the public who choose to opt for an escape film like this. The action is not always coherent and compelling, however certain verbal and physical sequences, with the addition of the gigionesque interpretations of Walhberg and Duke, who never take themselves too seriously, manage to carry the story. The final stages leave open the possibility of a sequel, in the hope of perhaps being able to transform the protagonist Spenser into a brand on which to build a saga, with later chapters that may be fresher and more original.

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With this latest collaboration Berg and Wahlberg break away from a certain celebratory patriotism of American heroism, recognizable in their previous works – films based on true stories (Lone Survivor, Deepwater – Inferno sull’oceano, Boston – Manhunt) and a spy story (Red Zone – 22 miles of fire). Spenser confidential it is in fact a film that denotes adherence to a certain American spirit, but which presents itself as a film of pure entertainment, a vision to be faced without too many pretensions.

It is understandable that Peter Berg’s film does not have as its target audience those who know the novels – and who could be rather disappointed by the numerous poetic licenses that this transposition takes – but rather focuses on who wants to see Wahlberg in the role of a character again. in action in Boston, as it was in The Departed – Good and Evil by Scorsese, which earned the actor an Oscar nomination. Wahlberg is well suited to these roles, both in terms of stage presence and acting performance: he manages to convince in the role of a former prisoner and policeman, precisely because he embodies a type of character particularly congenial to him.


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