Review: Mile 22

Mile 22 might be one of the worst films of 2018, and that’s not hyperbole. The plot is simple –  An asset has classified information. A highly trained military team has a short amount of time to transport the asset to an extraction point. How do you mess this up?

“Hold my beer.” – Peter Berg

Director Peter Berg and his muse Mark Wahlberg team up for another testosterone party. Wahlberg plays James Silva, the leader of the paramilitary unit known as Overwatch. When 9lbs of radioactive isotope goes missing, Li Noor (Iko Uwais) says he knows where it’s located but they must get him out of the country before he unlocks the hard drive with the information on it. Silva and his crew must transport Li through crowded streets while a group of unknown Southeast Asians operatives try to take them out.

On paper, this movie should work. Wahlberg, Ronda Rousey, and The Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan can all do action. Iko Uwais is an incredible martial artists (see: The Raid) that can deliver the “wow” moments these types of movies need. There’s no reason the four of them can’t make an enjoyable action film. Why does this not work?

“Hold my other beer.” – Peter Berg

The editing in this film is nauseating, literally. The quick cuts and edits make it nearly impossible to focus on the action. When the film isn’t chopping up its action sequences like a Benihana chef, it pivots to Silva doing some interview or senate hearing where he’s explaining the mission. It also has a subplot of Alice (Cohan) crying about being terrible mother and using some app for divorced parents.

The character Silva is so bad. He’s unlikable, talks to people like they’re stupid, gets his team members killed, but apparently he loves puzzles so it’s ok. Silva is supposed to be trained operative, yet has vocabulary of someone who learned ‘big words’ in prison. He yells at everyone all the time like he has roid rage and he’s the one leading this team? He’s the best and brightest? Silva is a bunch of bad American stereotypes rolled into one person.

Overwatch is supposed to option the government uses to get things done when diplomacy can’t. However, throughout the movie they have bad intelligence, poor security, and they don’t really seem to get along with each other. We see them on two missions and they’re wildly unprepared for both. There’s a big twist in the film that makes ZERO sense because an arm of the C.I.A would’ve figured that out. This whole movie is a lie.

There are two very ridiculous moments: One involves a guy getting his leg snapped, only to be up walking a few seconds later. The other is a villain teleporting throughout the movie. Did Thanos loan him the space stone? He keeps magically showing up, no matter where Silva and his team are. The last time he pops up is comical because it defies the laws of physics.

This film is full of sins, but the biggest sin is how they treat Iko Uwais. He’s a legit action star and they cut his scenes like he’s doing a fight scene for a soap opera. Anyone who knows Iko, knows what he can do. For some reason, Berg decided to edit Iko’s scenes at a break-neck pace. He doesn’t allow audiences to see Iko do what he does best. Why have him in the movie if you aren’t going to use him? Imagine having Lebron James on your team and only playing him for 90 seconds – that’s how Berg treats Iko.

This is easily Peter Berg’s worst film and one of the most obnoxious films in years. Berg does his best to drown audiences in patriotism and Wahlberg everyday American charm. None of that is enough to distract from how terrible this film is and the joyful way he goes about wasting talent. Hopefully this is the end of the Berg & Wahlberg experiment. You both love America and hate terrorists, we get it.

Grade: D-