After last week’s rather grim tale, I thought it best to review something more light-hearted this week.
Spenser Confidential is a loose adaptation of Ace Atkins’s 2013 novel Wonderland and follows a fairly typical detective narrative.
Mark Wahlberg plays the titular Spenser, a traditional grizzled ex-cop who finds himself tangled up in some shady dealings involving the mafia, corrupt police and a new casino. As plots go, it’s pretty simple and you can guess where it’s going early on.
On the other hand, the film doesn’t make any attempt to be super-serious and instead just focuses on being a fun action romp. For the most part, it succeeds pretty well.
Wahlberg has always excelled in action-comedy roles and he puts in a solid performance here. It helps that his take on Spenser doesn’t go the invincible super-soldier route of most action films.
Spenser is more of a bar-room brawler than a seasoned fighter and spends a lot of time getting his butt absolutely kicked by the more experienced villains (and even an angry dog, at one point).
This was a good call since it makes his determination to do the right thing, even in the face of such odds, all the more heroic. He is helped by Winston Duke as Hawk, a roommate and friend who provides a good portion of the witty quips.