Mark Wahlberg is a Boston private eye with a tough exterior, a smart mouth and a heart of gold in Netflix’s new original movie Spenser Confidential.
Loosely adapted from the novel Wonderland by Ace Atkins and based on characters originally created by author Robert B Parker, Spenser Confidential sees Wahlberg’s title character investigate the murders of two of his former police colleagues with the help of the formidable Hawk (Black Panther’s Winston Duke), an MMA fighter.
Here’s everything you need to know about Spenser Confidential – directed by Wahlberg’s longtime collaborator Peter Berg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon) – and the possibility of more films featuring its two leads.
Spenser Confidential cast: Who appears in the film?
Mark Wahlberg plays Spenser, with Winston Duke as his cohort Hawk. The film also stars Oscar winner Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine, Argo) as Spenser’s father-figure Henry Cimoli and Iliza Shlesinger (Last Comic Standing) as Spenser’s on-off love interest Cissy.
Bokeem Woodbine (Fargo, Spider-Man: Homecoming), Marc Maron (GLOW), Michael Gaston (The Man in the High Castle) and musician Post Malone also appear in the film.
Is there a trailer for Spenser Confidential?
There is indeed – and it’s racked up well over 2 million viewers on YouTube since it dropped on 20th January. An encouraging sign for Netflix…
Spenser Confidential review: Is it worth watching?
RadioTimes.com’s Morgan Jeffery had this to say…
“Spenser Confidential is a strange movie – part hard-boiled action thriller, part madcap buddy comedy, its 111 minutes are a baffling, often frustrating but occasionally exhilarating experience.
“A flimsy and scattershot screenplay from Sean O’Keefe and Brian Helgeland is its biggest weak point, with director Peter Berg bringing his trademark flair to the film’s action sequences (of which, it has to be said, there are disappointingly few) and a game cast doing their best to prop the whole thing up. Mark Wahlberg is solid casting as our hard-headed lead, while Winston Duke, though woefully underused, brings some much-needed charisma to a flatly written sidekick role, with a wry performance from Alan Arkin giving the whole thing a sprinkle of class that it arguably doesn’t deserve.
“Still, the film’s almost wilfully random tone – like a mash-up of Ben Affleck’s The Town and the Ben Stiller/Owen Wilson big-screen version of Starsky & Hutch – means it’s certainly never dull, veering from scenes of extreme violence to an extended slapstick sequence that sees Wahlberg wrestle a dog. It’s certainly far more likely to find an audience – possibly even a cult following – on Netflix, where an audience can stumble across it and while away a dull evening in its company, than it would if released to cinemas, where its sheer oddness would make it a far harder sell.”
Spenser Confidential ending: Will there be a sequel?
**WARNING – Spoilers follow for Spenser Confidential**
Spenser Confidential ends with Spenser and Hawk staging a spectacular rescue after Henry had been kidnapped by Driscoll (Bokeem Woodbine), Spenser’s old police partner – the corrupt Driscoll had orchestrated the murder of a number of his and Spenser’s former cop colleagues to further his own criminal interests, including a large-scale drugs operation.
Spenser Confidential (Netflix)
The corrupt officers are brought to justice and Terrence Graham (Brandon Scales), an innocent officer known to Spenser and framed by Driscoll and his goons, is exonerated.
But in the film’s final scene, another potential injustice catches Spenser’s eye – a TV news report reveals that an old high school buddy, Marty Foley (Jeffrey Vincent Thompson), has been arrested for arson. Foley is seen being led away by the cops, protesting his innocence… and it looks as though Spenser’s keen sense of honour won’t let this miscarriage of justice go unanswered!
Spenser Confidential was loosely based on the novel Wonderland by Ace Atkins, who took up the writing of the Spenser novels following the death of the character’s creator Robert B Parker.
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Parker wrote an incredible 40 novels featuring Spenser, which previously inspired the 1980s TV series Spenser: For Hire (starring Robert Urich as Spenser and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s Avery Brooks as Hawk) and three ’90s TV movies (starring Criminal Minds’ Joe Mantegna and Ghostbuster’s Ernie Hudson as the duo).
So there’s certainly no shortage of source material on which to base future Netflix movies – even if the streaming service opts to continue chronologically from 2013 continuation novel Wonderland, Atkins has written six Spenser novels since then and one prior (2012’s Lullaby).
Besides, the ending of Spenser Confidential is absolutely begging for a sequel, so it appears the will is there if the numbers for the film are solid enough.