Spenser Confidential

[0.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

This Netflix streaming dreck is a "real movie" with an MPAA rating (R) and everything, so I'm counting it as a watched movie.

Reader, if you're thinking about watching this because you've maybe read some of the Spenser books, or maybe you liked the old TV show with Robert Urich? Eh, don't bother. I've read all the Spenser novels, even after Ace Atkins took over writing duties after Robert B. Parker died. Other than three characters in this movie having the same names as the book characters (Spenser, Hawk, Henry Cimoli), and being filmed in the Boston area, that's the extent of the resemblance.

Oh, I forgot: there's also Pearl the Wonder Dog, but she's is transformed into some sort of droopy-eared beagle.

No Susan, she's apparently too classy and smart; instead we have Cissy, a foulmouthed ditz played by Iliza Shlesinger.

The movie is allegedly based on Wonderland, a post-Parker novel, but … yeah, that's bogus too. (Our image is the retitled paperback.) The moviemakers seem to have felt that the novel's plot was too cerebral and short of action set-pieces. Instead, we have a lot of choreographed fistfights, one sleazy sex scene, and a bad guy mastermind I figured out in his first scene.

Here, Spenser is an ex-cop, and also an ex-con, due to his pummelling of a cop he suspects is dirty. Years later, he gets out, and has dreams of becoming a semi driver, and moving to Arizona. But that whole dirty cop thing is still going, and the cop he beat up years back is brutally murdered. So he's dragged back into it.

In other disquieting news, Colleen Camp is … well, way different now than she was back in the 70s-80s. Sigh.