*Watched on 12/27/18*
Peter Berg has been on a roll as a director over the past few years. Just thinking he was just another guy whose movie ranges from decent-to-mediocre (Battleship), he made a name for himself in terms of doing solid action movies. But he’s done it well enough when he’s collaborating with Mark Wahlberg with fans favorites such as Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, and Patriots Day (my personal favorite). From the looks of Mile 22, this comes back to the Berg that isn’t impressive. But I might be proven wrong and this could be another hit from them in their fourth time working together.
What’s the Story: “CIA operative James Silva (Wahlberg) leads a small but lethal paramilitary team on an urgent and dangerous mission. They must transport a foreign intelligence asset from an American embassy in Southeast Asia to an airfield for extraction — a distance of 22 miles. Silva and the soldiers soon find themselves in a race against time as the city’s military, police and street gangs close in to reclaim the asset.”
When I was the trailers for this, it wasn’t what I was expecting for the continuing pair. It just looked like a typical action thriller that could be somewhat entertaining. This could be something like Safe House, but more high-octane. And… Mile 22 was a rough watch.
Let me start off dealing with Wahlberg in this. I actually love Wahlberg as an actor, and he has shown to be a capable action star, especially when working with Berg. In here, James Silva is the most annoying character he has played in a long time. I thought he was unlikable the entire time and I didn’t care if he’s gifted. We’re given backstory via opening credits, and it’s not a valid information dump. Another reason why is that he wore this yellow wrist band and gets super annoying every he snaps it when he gets angry or something.
When it came down to the action, it’s a major letdown. That’s pretty much on Berg’s part since nothing about these sequences are memorable when it’s filmed so poorly. Which is confusing since Berg has filmed the action from his other movies pretty well beforehand. Aside from the opening where it was cool enough, it’s pretty clumsy and not put to good use. Nothing is inevitable knowing if any of these characters will make it out of these shootout scenes.
The rest of the performance from the others aren’t given much to do either due to the lackluster script. Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead)’s character is serviceable enough if there wasn’t a side plot of her custody battle with her ex-husband; John Malkovich is just the guy in the room overseeing the mission with his obvious set of hair, and Ronda Rousey isn’t primarily known as the best actress, but this is probably the best thing he’s been in, and that’s not saying much.
The editing is by far the worst edited movie I’ve seen all year. There were some choppy cuts during the fight scenes and the action that gained a headache from me. How is it that this didn’t learn from the better action movies where we will like it when an action scene is better when we can see what’s going on. When you have a fight- scenes, which I believe were choreographed by Iko Uwais himself, that aren’t that well-shot, that’s a fail.
It gets unintentionally funny during the first half. At some point, Wahlberg is talking down to some guy, and because of how fast-talking he was getting, I had no clue if it’s meant to be taken seriously or awkwardly laugh it off.
I will say Uwais as Li Noor does a fairly good job with his performance. I still haven’t seen any of The Raid movies yet, but I heard he’s one of the reasons that made those movies hits.
But do you want to know what made this even terrible? It actually sets up a sequel at the end. This is only a 95-minute, and it totally felt incomplete. For some reason, I just feel like there was this huge chunk of the movie was taken out and they had to make it seem whole for the final cut. It plays out like a video game that doesn’t come off as thrilling when you’re playing through the storyline.
I’m the kind of guy loves action movies that are exciting, and Mile 22 isn’t one of them. This was just bad. Didn’t expect much of this, but this action thriller provides nothing exciting or thrilling in the slightest. Terrible editing, terrible action sequences, and it left more to be desired. Such a disappointment coming from a talented director like Peter Berg.