© Universum/Walt Disney

Mile 22
U.S. 2018

Opening 13 Sep 2018

Directed by: Peter Berg
Writing credits: Lea Carpenter, Graham Roland
Principal actors: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, Rhonda Rousey, John Malkovich

James Silva (Mark Wahlberg), elite American intelligence officer, normally takes orders from John (Terry Kinney). But when options narrow, Bishop (John Malkovich) calls tactical shots for CIA’s veteran top-secret strategic operations team. Alice (Lauren Cohan), Doug (Carlo Alban), Snow (Ronda Rousey), et al. have eyes and ears in lofty places. Assignments can be lethal, stakes are usually high, and time is always short. They depend on one another’s expertise, but sometimes collateral damage can boomerang. Currently, a dubious asset must be moved from point A to B; for Jimmy and team, twenty-two miles can be a life span.

Director Peter Berg is known for creating modern combat films, e.g. Lone SurvivorDeepwater HorizonPatriots Day (Boston). All were based on actual events, and paramount was adhering to accuracy. Lea Carpenter’s first-time screenplay, from a fictional story co-written with Graham Roland, is a precarious foray for Berg: it relies on excessively grim attention-grabbing action that becomes tiresome fast. Melissa Lawson Cheungand Colby Parker Jr.’s editing promote this in that any meaningful nonverbal plot information is barely glimpsed before they cut to something utterly different.

On the other hand, Indonesian martial arts action-star Iko Uwais was integral for the film—wait for the infirmary scene, and Wahlberg is no slouch in this fourth collaboration with Berg. In fact, what works is the cast worthy interpretation of blandly written characters, the timbre of Jeff Russo’s music, and Jacques Jouffret’s outstanding cinematography.

While abdicating story for action, plainly a sequel is planned for Mile 22. Berg sums it up as, “This is a very intense 95-minutes of no f**king around, ruthless business. …You want to see a kickass action movie that knows exactly what it wants to be, we got one.” In view of Berg-Wahlberg’s noteworthy past collaborations that could be advantageous, if they revert to an even-balanced film.  (Marinell Haegelin)

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