Spenser Confidential review – Mark Wahlberg crash lands on Netflix:
caper called Spenser Confidential, is the kind of film that evaporates as it’s being watched, destined never to be thought of again. It’s regrettable given those involved, from director Peter Berg, who has worked with Wahlberg four times before, including on 2016’s criminally underseen Deepwater Horizon, to writer Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar for his LA Confidential script before getting nominated for Mystic River. It’s also a story based around a much-loved private eye created by Robert B Parker, one who provided inspiration to crime authors such as Dennis Lehane and Harlan Coben. But it would take a master sleuth to detect any of that pedigree in the finished product.
Robert Urich is still my Spenser. I’ve seen the Joe Mantegna television movies and don’t remember hating them, but, as I mentioned, the Spenser: For Hire television series turned me onto the Spenser books in the first place.
Which means the progression for this IP was television series > books. And I liked both as their own things.
I don’t have Netflix, so I’ll have to wait for Friar to weigh in on it. It sounds like they’ve made some, erm, changes. But they’ve got a native Boston speaker to do it.
UPDATE: The wait is over.
4 thoughts on “Awaiting the Friar Verdict”
Thanks for the link! I discovered the books and the TV series at about the same time but have always liked the Urich version of the character.
And it may be closed-minded to say so, but Avery Brooks *is* Hawk, and the character might as well be retired as to cast a different actor.
I heartily agree vis-a-vis Hawk. But A Man Called Hawk was not very good; it was the spin-off centered on Hawk in Washington D.C. or something.
Although I heard a rumor that Avery Brooks played another character in a television series after or did “The Thong Song” or something.
Amazon Prime has some deal where they stream “Spenser: For Hire” episodes with commercials. so I watched a couple of the early ones on the treadmill the other day to get the Wahlberg thing out of my brain. There are some “Eighties-isms” in it that could stand an upgrade, like the synthy scores and some tropes that seem very lazy 35 years later, but I’d forgotten how good Urich and Brooks were and really, how good the show was before showrunners started the desperation tweaking a couple seasons in.
I should look into that as we have a Roku that can serve that up to one of our televisions.
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