Peter Berg’s latest film, Mile 22, dropped this weekend. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, John Malkovich, and Iko Uwais. All ads leading up to the release had it pitched as a high octane action film. Yet it’s pulling a 19% on Rotten Tomatoes. After his previous 4 films pulled in an average of 87%. So is this film worth the score?
The premise of Mile 22 is that an elite paramilitary unit that is apart of the CIA has to retrieve a foreign Special Forces operative as he has intel on an impending attack. The team has to extract him to an airport 22 miles away. But the host nation has sent it’s special operation team to get the turncoat as well.
If you read my article on “Who is Iko Uwais?” then you know I was looking forward to seeing Mile 22. Berg has shown in the past that he has no problem showing intense violence. This combined with Uwais’s known Martial Arts skill should have made this the action movie of the summer. The outcome though is rather disappointing.
Once more mainstream action movies suffer from the same trope as others before it. Mile 22 has so many cuts throughout the film it gets confusing and sometimes disorienting. Most action movies cut their actions scenes in a way that it hides flaws. Mile 22 takes this to the extreme, to the point where the storytelling is almost not possible to follow.
There’s one action scene where Uwais and Wahlberg are fighting two opponents. Due to the number of cuts that take place, the audience can lose track of just who is who. Even the fights where it’s just Uwais, the cuts take away from the brutality of the scene and his performance.
There’s also these subplots that have little to no pay off with more set up than needed. Also, a lot of the characters aren’t likable or relatable. Some aren’t on screen long enough to care. So it makes it hard for the audience to root for the characters or feel for anything as they get injured.
But it’s not all bad. The trailer makes it seem like a very paint by numbers action movie. While I won’t go into spoilers, I can say that this is a bit of misdirection. The ending was a welcome surprise. That’s one of the highlights of the film.
The story is wholly unique, especially in a time when most of the summer films are sequels or remakes. Rather than it being just an action movie, Mile 22 is much more an espionage action film. And Mark Wahlberg makes his character as unique as the story. Uwais fully demonstrated his acting chops against Wahlberg and pulled his weight.
But ultimately this film misses the mark, that I was hoping it would deliver. The actions scenes come off as mostly noise, rather than scenes meant to progress the story. While Wahlberg does perform great as the character he’s given, the character is just so unlikeable. I wish I could say this about the other characters, but they aren’t even close to being fleshed out. If you want to see a good action movie, then check out my previously mentioned article for Uwais more international films. But this time save your money and go rent Deadpool 2 instead. I give Mile 22 a 2 out of 5.