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Main Cast Reviews  Mark Wahlberg, Alan Arkin, Colleen Camp Categories  Crime | Drama | Action Release Date  6th Mar 2020 7.8
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Review

This action movie is about the dynamic duo of an Ex-felon (Hawk) and former police detective, Spenser. Spenser returns to Boston's criminal underworld and there he discovers a complex murder conspiracy. The super cast includes: Mark Wahlberg as Spenser, Alan Arkin as Henry Cimoli, Colleen Camp as Mara, Winston Duke as Hawk, Bokeem Woodbine as Untitled, Michael Gaston as Boylan, Marc Maron as Untitled, Iliza Shlesinger as Cissy, Post Malone as Untitled, Hans Marrero as Trinitario #2, Cassie Ventura as Elise, James Dumont as Untitled, Hope Olaide wilson as Letitia Graham, Leah Procito as Salon Girl and Kip Weeks as Macklin.

We see a side shot view of the city skyline. It looks cool. Then we movie to a shot of the suburbs. We hear some vocals, a court proceeding conversation. "Mr Spenser please focus on the events of...". We then see a cop, Spenser (played excellently by Mark Wahlberg) knocking on the door. The man inside is his police captain Boylen. Spenser is questioning him about something. Then Spenser notices Boylan has beat up his wife.

"Spenser then takes Boylen outside and beats him up in a brutal manner. Several hits to the face. The voice over (from the future court case) says that it was 'aggrevated assault'. The voice over continues 'how would he liked to plead on aggrevated assault on a police officer'. Spenser says 'Guilty'. His final statement was that 'The son of a bitch deserved it'. We see final footage of Boylen on the ground badly beat up. What an intense and innovative beginning to the film! Action from the get go"

We cut to jail 5 years later. He was sentenced after that beating. It is Spenser's final day there. Spenser is in the prison library. A prison inmate called Squeeb (played well by Post Malone) asks how it feels like getting out. He then blatantly teases him for being an ex-cop. He also asks if Spenser has a girl.

"'We have a little going away message for you Spenser' Squeeb says. 'Who sent me the message' Spenser asks. An old man sitting in the corner then says 'F*k em up Spense'. Spenser beats Squeeb hard with his fist. Then a second thug has a kick attack! He gets Spenser real good. Then Spenser then runs at him and gets a few jabs in. This is the first of a series of hand to hand combat sequences. Mark Walhlberg at his best"

The alarm sounds and the security guards run in. It was Spensers last day. A good soundtrack song commences 'taking my time'. Spenser walks out of jail in a grey cool suit. An older man called Henry (played brilliantly by the experienced Alan Arkin) picks Spenser up in a car.

"A woman then drives in a fast car, it's Spenser's ex girlfriend Cissy (Iliza Shlesinger in fine form). Spenser says to avoid her. We cut to old footage of her going nuts on the day he was sent to prison hehe. She was angry and threw things from her balcony. Iliza Shlesinger creates a unique and memorable side character here"
We cut to footage of Henry in a car with Spenser. They arrive at Henry's house. Henry describes that his property is now worth millions.

A police officer friend called Driscoll (played well by the talented Bokeem Woodbine) chats to Spenser outside Henry's house. Welcome home brother" Driscoll says. Henry has a dog. Spenser chats to it hehe. Spenser walks into his room.

"Spenser rests on his bed, you can see he is relaxed. Then he hears hip-hop music. Spenser opens the toilet door and Hawk (played excellently by Winston Duke) is inside brushing his teeth hehe. Hawk is a big man and says 'get out'. Hawk also lives in the house as Henry's other guest. 'Spenser this is Hawk.. I'd like you two to get to know each other... no fighting and no booze' says Henry hehe. Hawk and Spenser had chemistry from the get go"

Hawk and Spenser share one room hehe. Hawk plays with the dog but it's Spenser's dog and he asks for it back. We cut to a man in his car chatting on his phone about police business. It is a cop, Captain Boylen. Then some thugs ram into him and take him down. They have machetes and intimidate the cop.

"Then the thugs fight the Police Captain and leave him there to die. We then cut to a girl opening up a blue car with her cop husband inside, dead. She screams. These harsh events lead up to the interesting investigations that Spenser and Hawk will conduct"

Spenser wakes up and takes a look at the fridge.

"Henry says you can have whatever you like but the frankfurts are mine hehe. ALan Arkin hasn't lost his dry comedy one bit. Arkin delivers a great performance. His small interjections are funny and memorable"
On the TV we see the news of the murdered Captain Boylen. Spenser and Henry are shocked. Investigators knock on Henry's door. Henry says that Spenser was right here all night sleeping next to his roommate. Spenser talks back to the cops and the cop teases Spenser that he is just an "ex con". Driscoll is there and he says to relax.
"Henry knows that Spenser is stressed because of all this and says to Spenser jokingly 'Welcome Home'. Henry cares for Spenser and is there for him after his release"

Spenser gets in his car and hears the radio news. He's slightly down and depressed. He visits a truck driving class. He partly listens to the class but then leaves. Spenser then visits a Fighting Gym owned by Henry. Hawk is there fighting hehe. He's ok but he lacks technique. Henry wants Spenser to teach Hawk.

"Spenser's ex girlfriend Cissy then arrives hehe. Cissy is furious. Great acting by Iliza Shlesinger. She tells Spenser her poodle business is going great. 'You are incapable of real intimacy' she says before storming off. Spenser is left looking confused. Great acting by Iliza Shlesinger. Even when she's serious she is funny"

We cut to Spenser seeing TV news of the murder. They called it a murder suicide because that second cop Terence was found in his car dead. Terence had worked under Captain Boylan. "Terence was a good policeman and father" says a woman on TV. This impacts on Spenser. Spenser visits the woman. He says he was a friend of Terence. Spenser says he got in a situation with Boylen and then went to prison. Spenser wants to chat to her to find the truth. She chats to Spenser and says that police found drugs in her home and they pinned it on Terence.

Spenser chats about his own mom and says she was a good woman. He says for her to take care of her son then leaves. Spenser goes to a bar and chats to a stranger cop. He asks about Terence and says he wasn't crooked. Then more cops enter the toilet.

"They are angry that Spenser beat down his own captain. They punch Spenser in the face twice. Brutal. Spenser then punches them back. But there is too many of them. They bash him and throw him out of the bar... ouch. What great fast paced fighting coreography"

Spenser goes to a convenience store that has camera footage of the street where he fought the cops. Spenser is bleeding and asks for a hard drive. The attendent says it's in the cloud hehehe. The kid gives him access and Spenser asks for Hawk's help at home. Spenser gets what he needs.

"Next day Spenser goes to the scene of the Boylan crime. This movie isn't just pure action, it has some intrigue. Spenser looks around and on the ground"

We cut to Henry's training gym. Spenser asks Driscoll some questions about Terence. "Why would he shoot himself at home". Driscoll says to Spenser "let it go". We cut to Spenser learning to drive a truck at the school. Then back at the gym Spenser is teaching Hawk fighting techniques.

"Hawk explains to Spenser that he also just got out of prison. Hawk describes his tough old community. Spenser understands. Hawk and Spenser have a great friendship from this point. They work together as a team"

Then Cissy arrives and follows Spenser into the toilet hehe.

"'Cissy always finishes first!' Cissy says. She pushes up against Spenser. They break the mirror hehe. It's intense love making hehe. She thanks him for always saying that 'Im not saying were getting married... but if we have that kid he's not gonna be raised without a father'. They finish up. 'Hell will freeze over before you touch me again' says Cissy. Cissy and Spenser have a complex relationship. Iliza Shlesinger as Cissy nails her performance!"

Outside Spenser spots a familiar yellow corvette and chases it. He ends up in a backyard with a guard dog.

"The dog bites him here and there but Spenser escapes. Hahaha! Then he thinks he's free but the dog attacks him again. Spenser then walks into the training Gym again looking all hurt and bruised. What a great set action piece"
"Hey thanks for having my back out there" Spenser says sarcastically to Hawk (because Hawk didn't help). Hawk then spells the licence plate to Spenser hehe. Spenser is impressed and then goes to the Registration place and calls on a favour from a desk clerk hehe. "Your not a cop anymore Spenser" says the clerk hehe.

Spenser goes to the address and tails a guy called "Tracksuit Charlie". Spenser recalls his past case about a girl and a political cause. She was killed and then there was a cover up. Boylan was involved. Then we see the old footage of Spenser going to Boylan's house questioning him about this. Of course we know that Boylan co-incidentally had beaten up his wife and so Spenser attacked him. Spenser needs Hawk's help. Hawk knives the yellow corvettes tires and keys a cats face on the side of tracksuit Charlie's yellow corvette hehe.

Tracksuit Charlie is very angry about his car. He drives off and they tail him. But then the feds tail Spenser. He chats to them. Spenser and Hawk chat inside their car. Then Spenser has a chat to one of his old jailmates Squeeb in jail. Spenser holds a camera to Squeeb and shows him live footage of his ex girlfriend. Squeeb then agrees to talk about Boylan. Squeeb mentions a keyword "Wonderland". He says to Spenser that he is "gone... dead". Then Spenser chats to a man about Wonderland, a kind of casino. Spenser visits Wonderland. He asks people there about the Casino but the Wonderland workers tell him to leave.

Then we cut to a police burial. Driscoll chats to another cop about "killing the cat" (definitely in reference to Spenser). Then Spenser goes to a Mexican restaurant.

"He orders enchiladas and quessadillas hehe. Then men enter from the front with machetes. Hawk is outside listening to some classical music. Spenser is beating them all up mainly with fist. Great hand to hand combat. But then Hawk reverses into the restaurant with his car, hitting many thugs! Hawk says 'get in' to Spenser hehe. Another great action sequence"
They also pick up Henry at his place and the three of them go to Cissy's house.

"Cissy's house is full of dogs yapping. Cissy says that Spenser is playing 'Batman' hehe and calls Henry 'Alfred' (because he's like the old butler in Batman) hahaha. Iliza Shlesinger as Cissy is abrupt and hilarious here. Cissy says 'You gave him the keys to the batmobile' hahaha"
We cut to Terence's wife's house and her house has been ramsacked. She calls Spenser immediately. Hawk and Spenser arrive.
"The wifes little son says to Hawk 'Are you a giant?...'. Hawk says 'Yeah'. 'Are you a good one or a bad one' says the child. 'A good one' says Hawk who helps clean the room. It was a touching moment"
Terence's wife gives Spenser a wire tap device that Terence mailed to her.

Spenser listens to the wire. "...they all work for Driscoll..." says Boylen. Boylen then tells Terence "in order for me to give you a tip I need payment". Spenser then approaches Driscoll at Driscoll's house. "What are you doing here Spenser" Driscoll says. "I know you know about Wonderland" Spenser says. Driscoll leaves abruptly. Then Spenser shows the tape to the feds. He gets no deal. Spenser interrogates Tracksuit Charlie. Charlie blabs about a shipment of drugs.

"Hawk throws a hammer from up top in a bridge at the incoming van (with the shipment) and it swerves off it's line and crashes. This is a cool innovative action scene"
Spenser inspects the van. He says "This is how the Cops are buying their way into Wonderland". He says as he inspects barrells of cocaine in there. They bring back the truck to Cissy's garage. But then Driscoll face-times Spenser with Henry's phone. "Wonderland.. one hour.. and bring my drug shipment" says Driscoll with Henry's face in the background. Spenser, Hawk and Cissy prepare to enter Wonderland. Hawk gets the big gun hehe.

"We cut to Henry in the van with Driscoll. He is angry because he got hit in the eye hehe. Alan Arkin plays the old wise man to perfection. He has charisma and is always funny"
Cissy drives in to Wonderland by herself hehehe.
"Cissy says to a thug with a machete 'Get that sword outta my face... where do you work.. a Brazilian steak house' hahaha. Iliza Shlesinger is comedically on fire here. 'This is how you treat an old man? Prostate the size of a grape fruit. Did they violate you... did they sexually violate you?' she says to Henry! hahaha! The look on Henry's face... this is too funny"
Then an eagle flies by, it's a sign! Then Spenser drives in with a big truck! (just the front part of the big truck).

"Spenser comes at speed with his truck and crashes all their vehicles! Awesome scenes. Some of the bad men are injured because of the impact. What an intense action piece"
Spenser and Hawk have guns and they fire. The bad guys have guns too with machetes. In the kitchen of Wonderland there are men there beating up on Spenser.
"Hawk comes in with his MMA Moves! Brutal jabs and kicks! I had been waiting for this moment and Hawk does not dissapoint. Winston Duke is agile for a big man. Great hand to hand combat. 'That's how you fight' says Spenser!"
Spenser then jumps on Driscoll. Spenser has a gun. But then Spenser offloads the bullets.

"It's Driscoll vs Spenser. The ultimate matchup. I miss movies like this where two figure heads are up against each other. Great jabs and boxing technique by Spenser. There is evasive techniques too and some jabs don't land. Driscoll says 'Your a jail bird!'. Driscoll kicks Spenser on the ground, it's Brutal. Driscoll says 'There's no justice Spenser there's only the Strong and weak'"
Spenser is on the ground after an upper cut. Driscoll kicks him hard in the stomach!
"Driscoll kicks him one last time and Spenser blocks. Then Spenser gets up and throws Driscoll on the seats. Then there are a series of big heavy punches to Driscoll's face. Spenser stops himself. Spenser cuffs Driscoll. The audience cheers after a hard fought battle"
The real police arrive outside.

"After inspecting the mound of cocaine, The male Fed says to the crooks outside (Driscoll and co.) 'Damn.. you boys is F*ked. F*ked' HAHAHA. This made me laugh hard! The look on the Fed's face is priceless. What an ending"
At the end of the film we see some News Paper Article headlines: "Local Heroes bust dirty cops", "Wonderland Casino shut down", "Feds seize millions in drugs from casino", "Dirty Cop Convicted Prison bound". The police department then releases an official apology to Terence Graham's family. They say he has been cleared of all charges. His wife looks on pleased.

"This movie has some of the best action sequences of the year. Fast paced and innovative. Mark Wahlberg as Spenser and Winston Duke as Hawk carried the film well. Winston Duke was funny at times and his MMA fighting skills were brilliant. Wahlberg is a maestro at action now, he also had great dramatic chemistry with Cissy (played by the hilarious Iliza Shlesinger). Shlesinger brought an intensity and silliness to her role. Alan Arkin was silly and funny as the loveable Henry. For the whole movie to work we needed a great villain and Driscoll played by Bokeem Woodbine excelled. He was a charming villain that was an equal match physically for Wahlberg"
This movie wasn't all action. There was plenty of intrigue and investigations that will leave you guessing. An action film where every minute was watchable! Enjoy the entertaining 1hr 51min.


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