If you’re looking for someone to talk smack about Mark Wahlberg and the movies he makes with Peter Berg, go read another website, because the wrong guy was assigned to this article. I was, quite frankly, appalled by our Slack thread regarding the trailer for their latest collaboration, Spenser Confidential. No one wanted to touch it with a 10-foot pole. I won’t name any names because I’m not a rat like that, but shots were fired, and as a longtime fan of the “Berg brothers,” as I call them, I did not appreciate it.
That’s right… I’m the guy who had Patriots Day and Lone Survivor on his Top 10 lists of their respective years. Deepwater Horizon? Top 25 film of 2016, for sure. When it comes to incredible true stories, these guys can do no wrong in my book. So let me just say that right now, up front. As for Spenser Confidential… it looks like a Netflix movie, and I’m using that term the way it was used three years ago, before Marriage Story and The Irishman and Roma came along. It looks like passable streaming entertainment, at best. Which is fine! There’s nothing wrong with that. I like Marky Mark (I’m from Boston so I can call him that) and Marc Maron and Post Malone as much as the next guy! But this “Berg brothers” joint is obviously not based on a true story, because if it was, I’d be tracking down Post’s real-life counterpart for an interview right now. But I digress…
Wahlberg’s Spenser is inspired by Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland, which is a novel by Ace Atkins that uses Parker’s famed character. The film is an action-comedy in which Spenser gets out of prison and decides to leave Boston for good. He’s an ex-cop better known for making trouble than solving it. But when two of Spenser’s former colleagues turn up murdered, he recruits a no-nonsense fighter named Hawk (Winston Duke) and his foul-mouthed ex-girlfriend Cissy (Iliza Shlesinger) to help him investigate and bring the culprits to justice. The movie also stars Alan Arkin as Spenser’s old boxing coach, and Bokeem Woodbine.
Listen, Wahlberg and Duke look like a fun pairing. One’s the charming wise-ass, the other is a hulking force of nature. You’ve got Shlesinger just running wild, Arkin taking the brunt of the ‘old guy’ jokes, and the ray of sunshine that is Maron, plus Brian Helgeland co-wrote the script, which typically bodes well. Oh, and Post Malone is going by his real name of Austin Post here, so put some respect on his name!