Alan ArkinIliza Shlesinger...
Action & AdventureDrama...
(Image credit: Netflix)
We arrive at Zawya Cinema in Downtown Cairo for the private premiere of Mark Wahlberg’s Netflix film, Spenser Confidential ahead of its international release. We grab popcorn and drinks, then walk into the theatre to settle down in the best seats and start munching away. We are asked not to take any footage of the film and told that feedback is welcome after the screening. We sit back in anticipation for what is to come next.
In a nutshell, Spenser (Wahlberg) is a former good cop sent to prison for standing up to a corrupt cop named Captain Boylan (Michael Gaston), but on the day of Spenser’s release, Boylan is mysteriously murdered. Spenser had reunited with his old friend, Henry (Alan Arkin), along with his dog, Pearl, and he runs into ex-girlfriend Cissy (Iliza Shlesinger). Paired up with his new roommate, Hawk (Winston Duke), in a collaboration reminiscent of Batman and Robin (which is joked about in the film’s narrative), the two set off to hunt down the culprits.
The plotline delves into a world of corruption, which director Peter Berg explores with transparency and an unbiased approach. Considering that it is Berg’s fifth film with Wahlberg, the flow of the script with the action on screen is coherent enough to grab our attention. Fight scenes were interrupted by surprising laughter, and one particularly graphic scene (18+) left our jaws in our half-empty popcorn boxes. No wonder the film is R-rated!
The ending leaves room for a sequel, and it opens up a world of wonder about law enforcement in the United States but without involving too much politics; however, there is a reference to President Donald Trump’s infamous “fake news” comments that may trigger a round of chuckles. All in all, Wahlberg’s portrayal of an honourable cop single-handedly changing the system might be forgettable, but a sight to see nonetheless.