Review: Mark Wahlberg plays a cop with a conscience in ‘Spenser Confidential’

Mark Wahlberg plays the title role of a fallen policeman who spends five years behind bars for having roughed up his boss. (YouTube)
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Updated 10 March 2020

Review: Mark Wahlberg plays a cop with a conscience in ‘Spenser Confidential’

  • Though inspired by Ace Atkins’ novel ‘Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland,’ the movie has little in common with the book, except the Boston location and the names of the main characters

CHENNAI: Netflix’s new caper “Spenser Confidential,” helmed by Peter Berg, takes us to Boston, where cops kill and maim their own colleagues.

Mark Wahlberg plays the title role of a fallen policeman who spends five years behind bars for having roughed up his boss.

The film hardly gives you time to pause and ponder. Frames flash by, each packed with gun-blazing action in scenes that often leave the viewer gasping for air and grasping at straws in a bid to understand what it going on.

Wahlberg has previously worked with Berg four times, including on “Deepwater Horizon,” scripted by Brian Helgeland — who also penned “Spenser Confidential.”

Helgeland won an Oscar for “LA Confidential,” and was nominated for the brilliant “Mystic River” with Sean Penn. But his latest thriller is not quite in the same league as either film.

The day Spenser walks out of prison, the policeman he attacked is murdered. Obviously Spenser is a suspect, and despite his plans to get out of the city and leave behind bad memories, he is drawn into the murky world of crooked cops, thugs on the loose, violence and drugs.

When an apparently upstanding policeman commits what looks like a suicide, Spenser teams up with his roommate Hawk (Winston Duke) to start a chase that often resembles a cat-and-mouse adventure. Spenser’s girlfriend Illiza Shlesinger chips in to clean up the mess.

The thriller has its drawbacks as far as plot construction goes. For instance, the relationship between Spenser and his girlfriend seems incredibly superficial, and viewers could be left scratching their heads when trying to fathom what makes Hawk stick his neck out for Spenser — the two start off as mere roommates and barely know each other, and their relationship is never fully explored.

Though inspired by Ace Atkins’ novel “Robert B. Parker’s Wonderland,” the movie has little in common with the book, except the Boston location and the names of the main characters.

Wahlberg has his limitations, and Berg knows them only too well — he gets the best out of his actor without forcing him to step beyond his range. But we must give it to the two for being the perfect salt-and-pepper combo.


Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra considers role in Arabic films

Updated 03 August 2020

Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra considers role in Arabic films

DUBAI: Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas revealed in an interview with Africa News this week that she would “love to” star in Arabic films.

“I just don’t speak the language,” said Chopra Jonas. “I think that I would love to be a part of the film industry anywhere. I love my job and I would learn a new language if I have to.”

The 38-year-old producer, who has a couple of Hollywood flicks under her belt, said she is working on an unscripted series with her husband, the American singer and songwriter Nick Jonas.

“I am developing a show with my husband which is for Amazon. It is based on the Indian tradition of sangeet (a music-filled pre-marriage ceremony),” she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Felt like wearing a saree. So I did...At home. Miss everyone. @nickjonas

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She is also working on a new series for Amazon, produced by the Russo brothers, and a “buddy comedy” with actress Mindy Kaling.

The UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and the former Miss World has been using her social media platforms over the past few months to raise awareness about the coronavirus pandemic.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

@nickjonas

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Chopra Jonas, who started her career 20 years ago, has hosted an Instagram session with doctors and experts from the World Health Organization who answered frequently asked questions about the virus.