Mile 22 is such a simple premise for an action film that it’s almost impossible to screw up. All Mark Whalberg and his team of highly trained redshirts have to do is transport a corrupt cop from the American embassy to an airstrip through an entire city full of people trying to kill them so he can give them a file which will stop a bad thing from happening. Probably. The film doesn’t seem to care about it’s plot and neither do I.
How simple is that?
Hell, the corrupt cop is even the guy from The Raid? You remember, it’s that awesome film that plays like Die Hard on steroids and utterly killed Dredd, which had a similar premise and went into production first but lost the release war because of VFX touch-ups which meant that it looked unoriginal and…..
Stop talking about things that actually interest you and instead talk about Mile 22.
Ok, so Wahlberg runs a team called Overwatch who are sent in to do things that the government would rather not get caught doing and their watched over by John Malkovich who has the code-name ‘Mother’ which isn’t creepy at all. Or giving me flashbacks to last years god knows what starring Jennifer Laurence. Malkovich is accompanied everywhere by his collection of bobbing heads of Presidents past and present; their fake, plastic grins casting a knowing eye over clandestine killing. If I was being generous I might say that there’s some sort of satirical point being made about Americas habit of nodding things through without waiting for international backing, or support, or legality whilst maintaining the cheerful idealism of America whilst the more unsavoury realities of its actions are made explicit.
But the films not smart enough to make that point and neither has director Peter Berg done anything along those lines so I’ll just move on.
Besides, you didn’t come to see Mile 22 (which is how far their convoy has to go before the end credits can start) to hear about satire on geopolitics or how the characters are flatter than a policeman trying to get a runaway steamroller to stop at a red light. You want to know how exciting the scenes where the bang bangs go into the bad man and make him fall over are.
And, their fine. There’s a nice scene where the Dredd killer gets to show off his moves in an almost Jackie Chanesque sequence and enough gunfights, car chases and running to keep you vaguely focused but there’s nothing spectacular or unique or even that memorable. The action sequences are predictable and there’s just this vein of gritty nihilism running through the whole thing. Which normally I wouldn’t complain about, but this is a film where a bit more gloss and some slightly more outlandish stunts would have helped. Also, the editing on these scenes sucks. Seriously, how hard is it to watch Heat a few times until you understand how this time of action should be shot? I mean, allegedly they use those gunfights whilst training US Marines!
Sorry, distracted again.
I recommend not trying to follow the plot beyond the time limited escort mission that the trailers have made you think it as it’s a convoluted mess that exists purely for sequel bait and could have been removed completely without impacting the film in the slightest.
But it’s also the blindingly obvious type of confusing mess.
How their going to turn this into a ‘ multi-media series’ baffles me. This is the kind of ‘world-building’ that makes the DCEU/ Dark Universe look competent.
As an action film it’s a dull, grey, mess full of one dimensional characters laboring under a plot that’s too twisty for it’s own good full of action scenes that have been done better. As a starting point for the Mileverse? I’ll pass.
But what did I expect? The whole franchise has been going downhill since 8 Mile
My Score- Skip It.