Mile 22 may be the fourth collaboration between director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg (Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day being the other three) but it comes out as the weakest film from the two.
Not only does the story resemble a handful of yesteryear blockbusters but it also looks way to 1980-ish in 2018. There is no doubt that Mark Wahlberg is one of the best action stars in Hollywood but with the audience evolving, so should the makers.
The film begins on the right note, introducing all characters led by Mark Wahlberg’s James Silva, a troubled individual who lost his mother in a car accident when young and who grew up to be an elite intelligence operative with anger issues that he keeps in check with a wristband (duh!).
The rest of the team comprises of actors who you may have seen before in a couple of films but haven’t done much on their own – except John Malkovich who has a film title to his credit!
Like all ‘elite operation’ films, this one begins with a covert mission where the good guys eventually win against the bad guys. Things begin to change when the same elite unit is asked to transport an ‘asset’ from the US Embassy to the runway that is 22 miles away, hence the title of the film.
Are the elite forces able to transport their ‘package’ safely or the ‘Mile 22’ proves to be too far for them, watch the film to find out.
What we can tell you is that like Clint Eastwood’s classic The Gauntlet, Bruce Willis’ 16 Blocks and a few other flicks, this one follows the one-man-can-make-a-difference theme to a T.
Just like in those movies, the whole neighbourhood is unable to stop the ‘defected’ lawman who follows orders and upholds the law even if it meant taking a stand against his own friends. Since the plot was predictable and the execution shoddy, Mile 22 misses the target (of being a blockbuster) by a mile and could have been a must-watch had the director been strong on the execution.
Besides Mark Wahlberg and John Malkovich, the rest of the cast comprises of B grade actors who are either acting in the film to improve their pay grade or don’t have many assignments. Indonesian star Iko Uwais is the best thing about the movie as he kicks, punches and uses guns just like he did in The Raid franchise.
Not only does he perform his own stunts but also comes out as one bright addition in the league of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. With proper guidance, he can be one of the better action stars of the next generation but for that, he will have to improve his English and expressions.
So far, all the Wahlberg – Berg films have been based on true events and they should have stayed in that zone because making a Hollywood thriller is a huge responsibility, especially when you don’t have an Arnold or Stallone or even The Rock.
To make a thriller with a story that’s too old even for Television was a dumb decision and even the countless action sequences involving drones, ammunition and cars weren’t able to kick start a doomed-from-the-beginning film. Add a twist at the climax and you will be left to wonder whether you were watching a Hollywood film or an amateur director’s first outing after getting his hands on his own camera.
Mile 22 type movies should have limited release because in short, they are the film version of the video games we used to play back in the day … games the current generation has no idea about!
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