Directed by: Peter Berg
Starring: Mark Wahlberg,, John Malkovich, Iko Uwais, Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey
When police officer Li Noor (Iko Uwais) hands himself into the US Embassy with the promise to give the Americans information on missing nuclear substances in exchange for getting him out of the country, it’s up to intelligence officer James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) and a secret tactical command unit to do just that.
‘Mile 22’ is an action thriller where the action is overly edited and there aren’t many thrills. Honestly, my eyes and my head hurt by the end of this film. There are so many cuts in a scene, even the mundane ones of two people talking at a table, that it puts that scene in ‘Taken 3′ where there are about 14 cuts in the 6 seconds it takes Liam Neeson to climb a fence to shame.
When you’ve got a fantastic martial artist like Iko Uwais starring in your film, why on earth would you film and edit every single one of his fight scenes so incomprehensible that you never really get to see what he does best?! The editing is so quick, the cuts are at weird places, and the camera is constantly shaking. In one scene it’s so difficult to follow what is going on I somehow managed to confuse Uwais for Wahlberg. The problem with a lot of the action sequences is that there are so much shaky cam and far too many cuts, that it was difficult to make out where characters were in relation to one another, even when they were in one room.
Mark Wahlberg’s James Silva is one of the rudest, abrasive and unlikable characters I’ve seen in a long time. He monologues in people’s faces, is disrespectful towards his colleagues (some of whom are supposed to be his friends as well) and to make sure you know how smart he is from the outset, in one of his first scenes he completes the “World’s Most Difficult Puzzle” – though besides from doing that you never really see him being smart, he just shoots a lot of people and talks very quickly.
‘Mile 22’ revels in its violence. Characters are mowed down by gunfire left and right, both good guys and bad guys, but none of them are fleshed out or remotely interesting so you feel nothing when they die a gruesome death. ‘Mile 22′ is full of American patriotism, but not the good kind. This is the hateful, toxic kind where Americans play God with no real thought paid to those everyday people who are living in an apartment block where they are having a shootout in the hallway. And then there’s the member of the tactical unit who controls a drone and is so eager to destroy property and kill people that when he finally gets the chance he pushes that button with glee. The fact this is played for laughs makes it even more distasteful.
‘Mile 22’ is an incomprehensible overly-edited mess. It’s a hateful film full of hateful characters who bark out not-so witty one-liners one minute and technical jargon the next – none of these characters seem like real people. Even with this super-secret all-knowing task force being a part of its plot, the script offers nothing new to the genre and its attempt at flashiness fails to hide how dull and predictable the story really is.