In a visceral modern thriller from the director of Lone Survivor, Mark Wahlberg stars as James Silva, an operative of the CIA’s most highly-prized and little-known unit. Aided by a top-secret tactical command team, Silva must transport an asset (Iko Uwais) who has vital information to a Southeast Asian airfield for extraction before the enemy closes in. MILE 22 also stars Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey, and John Malkovich.
What We Thought:
Mile 22 doesn’t know what type of movie it wants to be and that’s disappointing. The action sequences are pretty fantastic, but there is too much talking, too much storyline and too much backstory that ultimately serves no purpose.
Mark Wahlberg’s character is given a backstory of this genius type kid who ends up being alone, having ticks (snapping a rubberband on his wrist to use pain to focus) and explaining a lot to people. He goes off on rants to people which makes him seem like an A-hole and at the end, it’s all really irrelevant.
Same for Lauren Cohan’s character. The Walking Dead star is Wahlberg’s number 2, but she is given this storyline of being a mom away from her kid and fighting her ex (played by Peter Berg). Being out on missions makes her miss her kid and makes her swear way too much and at the end, it’s all really irrelevant.
None of this is necessary in a movie about a covert unit trying to get Cohan’s informant, The Raid’s Iko Uwais to an airplane to America so he will give them vital information on the location of dangerous material. There’s a twist at the end I won’t spoil, but if Wahlberg’s character is so smart, how come he didn’t see it happening? What does Cohan being a mom and fighting with her ex have to do with her doing her job? None of that is necessary and feels out of place in what could have been a top-notch action thriller.
Throughout the movie we see Wahlberg’s character in a debriefing environment telling his side of the story. I don’t see the need for that either. Sure it worked in Atomic Blonde, but it didn’t work here. Because Wahlberg is there, you know he’ll survive the fighting. It seems anti-climactic as did the ending.
I will say that the action is fantastic. There’s some great car chase scenes, a fight in an apartment complex which isn’t quite The Raid Redemption, but it’s still good. There are some good shootouts. Berg is great with that stuff, but the story in the movie just doesn’t work. Also, if you’ve seen The Raid Redemption/The Raid 2, you know Iko Uwais is one of the best action actors going if not the best. He is given some fight choreography here, but not enough in my book. The man is amazing, let him do his thing.
Mile 22 is a smart movie for dumb people. If you think it’s layered and smart, go back to school. Even the name of the movie is pretty irrelevant. They mention they have to go 22 miles to get Uwais to the airport, but at no point afterwards do they say anything about it again. Wahlberg at one point says to tell the plane they are five minutes away, but there’s no countdown or acknowledgment from when they leave to those 5 minutes. Hell give me one line of being 15 miles away or something. I wanted a more straight forward action flick with tons of violence and little story. I got some action with much too much dialogue. It has scenes out of a Jason Bourne film and scenes from The Raid, but I’d rather just rewatch those unfortunately.
Cast & Crew:
- Mark Wahlberg
- Director Peter Berg
- Iko Uwais
- Lauren Cohan
- Ronda Rousey
- John Malkovich
Recommended If You Like:
- Lone Survivor
- The Accountant