Director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg have proven to be a stellar team over the past few years.
The dynamic duo have worked brilliantly together, producing three exceptional films: Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day.
What those three movies really had in their favour was they were true stories about heroic people – they packed an emotional punch.
That’s what Berg and Wahlberg’s latest film, Mile 22, is severely lacking.
If audiences didn’t know about their previous films, it would be a lot easier to enjoy Mile 22.
The new film is fine – it’s got some great action sequences and Wahlberg is, as usual, very good at his job. It just struggles to live up to the heights of its predecessors.
The film follows arrogant and extremely intelligent CIA operative James Silva (Wahlberg) as he and his team attempt to deliver a south-east Asian defector 22 miles through perilous streets to a waiting jet. The defector – Li Noor (Iko Uwais, The Raid) – has promised to reveal the code to an encrypted disc (which contains the location of bioweapons which could decimate several world cities) once he is wheels up and en route to America.
The character of Li is really the saving grace of the film.
He is enigmatic, clearly exceptionally dangerous and capable, and an absolute fighting machine.
There are several sequences where he takes out his adversaries in unexpected and remarkable ways that haven’t really been seen in Western cinema before.
The film also features Fear the Walking Dead star Lauren Cohan and Burn After Reading actor John Malkovich, both of whom play fellow CIA operatives.
The film is fast-paced and action-packed, with several stand-out showdowns.
But it is also intercut with Silva in a CIA briefing, spouting plenty of philosophical mumbo jumbo and random literary quotes.
There’s too much dialogue for a movie of this nature and half the time it’s hard to keep up with what they’re actually saying. Wahlberg is a master at delivering his lines with great speed but in this film it really doesn’t seem necessary.
Give it a go if you like action. If not, probably don’t bother.