Mark Wahlberg and directer Peter Berg, team up for what is their fifth time together (consecutively for the director). Their latest project, a Netflix original called Spenser Confidential, is a Boston set crime thriller. Wahlberg stars as a former police detective. Having just finished serving five years in jail for beating on a dirty cop, he discovers that two of his colleagues wind up dead, coincidently on the same day of his release. Taken in by an old friend, Henry (Alan Arkin) and new housemate Hawk (Winston Duke), the three men take on the roles of private detectives, in a pursuit to uncover the truth behind the mysterious murders.
If I was to say that their latest collaboration might be their best to date, that may seem like high praise, but every one of their efforts have skated around the edge of mediocrity. Spenser Confidential, although hitting many of the clichés you would come to expect from the genre, provides barely enough entertainment to edge its way into the lead.
Wahlberg plays his typical, rough man schtick. A performance that will perfectly blend in with the repertoire of his career. He punches and shoots his way through these macho movies, with ease at this point. The rest of the cast also fail to stand out either. Even Alan Arkin and Winston Duke try their best to keep this movie afloat but are left sinking thanks to the weightless material.
It teeters on a fine line between a gritty shoot ’em up and a buddy cop comedy. This lack of focus in regards to its tone, makes for a confusing and uneven viewing experience. Very few of the jokes land, and most of the action sequences are already forgotten by the time the credits scroll over the screen.
Fortunately, with the current situation we have found ourselves in, Spenser Confidential can be the right sort of thing to fall on when you want to end your evening of social neglect, with a bit of dumb (but likely forgettable) fun.