Mile 22 Review
When did action movies get boring?
Mark Wahlberg’s James Silva has 8 hours to deliver a package and 22 miles to cover before he can save the day.Mark Wahlberg is no stranger to playing that guy with smart mouth and a fuse so short it blows before you can even put out the proverbial match. His characters often have a certain likeable charm that manages to sway audiences and see him through to the end. And now for the fourth time Wahlberg and director Peter Berg have teamed up (Patriots Day, Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor) — but this time they seem to miss the all-American hero angle completely and instead end up with something altogether very different while seemingly desperately trying to hit the mark.
The opening sequence of Mile 22 has a lot of potential and promises to be the entry point for a tense, political action movie, if it were that simple.
When a catastrophic threat presents itself diplomacy and military intervention are often used to try and appease the situation. But when those two options fail there is a lesser known third option that comes in the form of an elite super secret CIA task force of which Wahlberg’s James Silva is an agent. We’re told early on that Silva possesses levels of increased intelligence so high that he has to ping an elastic band on his wrist to keep him focused. We also learn that Silva is kind of an ass— as he gets all up in peoples faces and goes off on rants regularly, maybe because he loves the sound of his own voice.
When a devastating threat presents itself that, if successful, would be ‘like Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined’ Silva calls his team into action. The mission is to transport a ‘package’ that holds the key to preventing a deadly global catastrophe 22 miles to safety. With Silva heading up the team on the ground, John Malkovich plays Bishop - the main guy overseeing the whole operation, making sure all the pieces are in the right place (get it, like in chess), from an undisclosed location using the latest in surveillance technology. But as you can imagine it’s not completely smooth sailing and before long you’ll have trouble keeping a body count.
The opening sequence of Mile 22 has a lot of potential and promises to be the entry point for a tense, political action movie. Oh, if it were that simple. The momentum wears off fairly early on as we go through the motions at what appears to be an American embassy in a south-east Asian city. There is an attempt to flesh out some of the key characters but it comes off as a desperate attempt to try and show these license-to-kill agents as people with feelings.
There is a story line that is put into play right from the get-go which could have been quite good were it not buried beneath a heap of boring nonsense. It seems like Berg is confident enough when it comes to action scenes and has no qualms with shaky and frenzied camera movement, but when it comes to actually laying out the key points of the narrative in a way that gets the audience invested and engaged, here he has no idea. Most of the second half of the film is one long shoot out with countless bodies strewn about the place, bones cracking and blood spurting from various wounds - all of which gets tiring very quickly. That said, there are two decent fight sequences courtesy of Iko Uwais (Headshot) who plays Li Noor, a regular police officer with the local police force who probably has a little something extra tucked up his sleeve considering he’s a dab hand at martial arts style fighting. But still, these fight scenes could have been so much better had the camera sat still long enough to fully appreciate them.
Mile 22 is exhausting at best and boring at worst.
One of the biggest issues that Mile 22 suffers is that no-one is really that likeable. Our supposed hero Silva is a mouthy son of a gun who seems to have beef with everyone because apparently he’s either in a bad mood or is bipolar. Wahlberg did this type of character brilliantly in The Departed but you can’t help but think his character was so good because he wasn’t actually on screen all that much, unlike here where his schtick is overdone.
Mile 22 is exhausting at best and boring at worst. There is little to be taken from this movie that won’t leave you wondering ‘how much longer can this go on for?’. If anything, Mile 22 might be a vehicle to launch Uwais onto more American screens because other than his fight scenes, there isn’t a whole lot else going for it.
Our Review Ethos
To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.