Some directors just have their muses: Scorsese has DeNiro, David O. Russell has Jennifer Lawrence, Tim Burton has Johnny Depp, Wes Anderson has Bill Murray, and Peter Berg has…Mark Wahlberg. Spencer Confidential is another Peter Berg – Mark Wahlberg collaboration, the fifth in a lineup of increasingly forgettable films: Lone Survivor, Patriot’s Day, Deepwater Horizon and Mile 22 and it feels like it was cobbled together by an AI that’s been programmed to write screenplays based solely on other Berg-Wahlberg collabs. It has thrown together all the B(b)erg cliches: Wahlberg inexplicably shirtless, Wahlberg sporting a sexy black eye, Wahlberg sticking up for the working man, Wahlberg just wailing on a guy, driving cars, crashing cars, and just generally acting macho.
He plays Spenser, a Boston cop who’s so dumb he spells his name wrong. He suspects his superior officer is a dirty Boston cop so he shows up at his house and beats him silly. You know, not exactly a rule follower. So he goes to prison to cool his heels, as you do when you assault a police officer. And when he gets out he lies low, drives transport trucks for a living, takes vacations in the desert.
Haha, just kidding. Spenser is out of prison for less than 24 hours when the cop he assaulted winds up murdered, and guess who’s the prime suspect. And even though he’s very much not a cop anymore, he still works the case. Out of the goodness of his heart?
Anyway, he’s got two buddies backing him up: an old man named Henry (Alan Arkin) and a complete stranger who’s also his new roommate, Hawk (Winston Duke). Conveniently, Hawk is a tank of a man who’s an amateur MMA fighter and knows a little computer, so he actually comes in handy when he’s paying attention. But believe me, you don’t want to be Mark Wahlberg’s friend. I mean Spenser’s friend. Okay, I mean both. Spenser has a knack for finding trouble. He’s never even heard of minding his own damn business.
Anyway, Spenser Confidential is a new kind of forgettable that’s actually forgettable even whilst viewing. Luckily there’s no real plot to keep track of and there’s no character development because no characters were drawn in the first place. Which is super convenient if you mostly watch Netflix for the white noise.