The private eye Spenser has been running around the American crime consciousness via the novels by Robert B. Parker and then the Tv show starring Robert Ulrich for just shy of a halfhearted-century.
Now Netflix has delivered a new chapter brimming with the bravado of Mark Wahlberg as our title investigator. Directed by Peter Berg from a screenplay by Sean O’Keefe and Braine Helgeland, this particular plot is taken from Ace Atkins’ Wonderland. (Atkins inherited the character from Parker’s estate, and ain’t that story staying power.)
Spenser Confidential is as snappy and full of swagger as you’d expect from a movie with Wahlberg dashing around his home turf of Boston. It’s also his third project with Berg at the helm, and, yes, they know each other’s ways and means.
Here we find Spenser as he’s just about to be released from his stint for beating up his superior when he was on the force.
After his release we learn plenty, piece by piece, about what went on before, since and hereafter.
The fun is sniffing out the good from the bad with our hero.
Adam Arkin stands oddly and solidly as a mentor, and Winston Duke casts a big shadow as sidekick Hawk. Iliza Shlesinger adds a solid kick as Spenser’s off-again, on-again flame.
You’ve got some time. Stream and savor.