James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) heads up a clandestine US agency tasked with off-the-books counter terrorism. Aided by James Bishop’s (John Malkovich) invisible team of ‘overwatch’ spies, Silva must safely escort a high value asset out of Columbia. With only 22 miles between them and the airstrip, it would seem a simple assignment and yet the ruling government has other plans.
… Berg and Wahlberg bring their earthy aesthetic to the spy thriller genre.
In a noticeable switch in style from the actor-director team of Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg, ‘Mile 22’ is a departure from their “based on true events” formula. In a cinematic vehicle that would seem initially better suited to Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon, Berg and Wahlberg bring their own earthy aesthetic to the spy thriller genre.
As the bullets and barbed dialogue rain down on the Bogatãn asphalt, many of the running gunfights are reminiscent of Michael Mann’s ‘Heat’. Cars are swapped and fallen comrades left behind in a succeed-at-all-costs mission where the odds dwindle with each dead combatant. And this is all fine with good acting support from the likes of John Malkovich and Lauren Cohen in kick-ass mum form. However in the part of defector Iko Uwais, actor Li Noor easily outshines his American cast members. Lost in a calm, meditative state, his explosive martial arts scenes make all the other gun fights somewhat redundant. Those familiar with ‘The Raid’ will know what I’m referring to and what this fine Asian actor is capable of.
Overall ‘Mile 22’ is an above par, well-executed thriller with both invective dialogue and well-choreographed fight scenes. Left on a deliberately hanging question, the door is now wide open for a sequel. However that said, with its uncomplicated story and familiar arcs, this may dissuade some from walking through and completing ‘Mile 22’s’ journey.