Mile 22

Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg have teamed up for several really strong films including Lone Survivor, Patriots Day and Deepwater Horizon.  Unfortunately, that streak does not continue with the flawed Mile 22.

Mark Wahlberg played James Silva, a terribly damaged individual who worked as an operative in a group for the CIA.  Silva’s group was instructed to pick up a “package” in the form of a rogue police officer named Li Noor (Iko Uwais) and escort him to a plane to the United States.   The local forces tried to prevent him from leaving.  Everyone wanted Li Noor because he had a piece of information that could prevent a terrorist strike.

The movie’s premise is straightforward and simple, but the film through too much garbage at it, trying to make it into more than it should have been.  There was a good action movie to be had with just this idea, but this was not it.

The biggest problem with the film is that the action scenes, in particular the fight scenes, were so poorly shot with shaky cam that half the time I was not sure about what was happening, and that was an even bigger shame since Iko Uwais, who was involved in many of them, was the star of The Raid and is a top notch film fight coordinator and he should have been able to give us something truly awesome.  Instead the action scenes are impossible to follow or to enjoy since the camera is bouncing all over the place.

I also did not like the characters, specifically Mark Wahlberg’s character.  Silva was just about the most unlikable hero you are ever going to see.  He rambled on about insanity multiple times through the film and was just basically a jerk.  I was so tired of hearing him that I was more interested by Li Noor.  Lauren Cohan (Maggie from the Walking Dead) was also here and her character had some development.  She at least had a daughter that she wanted to see.  However, both of them had desperate anger issues that was going to mess their lives up.

Ronda Rousey was part of Silva’s crew and, though her part was small, she was actually better than she had been before.  Admittedly that is a low bar to set, but I was actually impressed with her efforts here.  Maybe those promo lessons in the WWE are paying off.

There were some exciting moments of action, but they were few and hard to see.  In the end, which has an extremely unsatisfying result meant to set up a sequel (which we will never see), the film was not anywhere near what it could have been and pales even more when compared to the list of films at the beginning of this review.

Mile 22 is far too far to go.

1.9 stars

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