The opening sequence of the new Mark Wahlberg thriller Mile 22 grabs you by the throat and demands your attention. Unfortunately, the film isn’t able to sustain that level of intensity throughout its (thankfully) brief 95 minute screening time. But it’s an aggressively competent picture that provides some brutal escapism for audiences of a certain type. Peter Berg’s hyperactive directing and editing choices keep the momentum up as the film grows more chaotic. This movie must have set the record for more bullets to the head than any other film in history.
James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) is a brilliant mind, who employs that I.Q. as the head member of an elite top-secret tactical command squad (Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey). They work in shadows for an off the books branch of operators within the C.I.A. Silva and his unit are called into action when a mysterious police officer with sensitive information (Iko Uwais), needs to be escorted 22 miles to an airport and an awaiting plane out of Indonesia. But they must survive a wave of attackers as they make their way from the embassy to the runway.
Mile 22 is intended as a franchise starter and if so, then this is a solid beginning chapter. The film’s surprise twist in the late third act is either going to excite you for the potential sequel or make you groan. Like I said, this is a film for a certain type of audience. I happen to count myself among that group, for better or worse, and for me Mile 22 works as a violent, weird, and slick August diversion.
Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais