Mile 22 is a little disappointing in terms of the fight scenes but otherwise it’s a taut and effective action thriller with some choice dialogue and Mark Wahlberg on particularly entertaining form. Iko Uwais has a bright future as the next action star too.
Plot: CIA operative James Silva leads a small but lethal paramilitary team on an urgent and dangerous mission. They must transport a foreign intelligence asset from an American embassy in Southeast Asia to an airfield for extraction — a distance of 22 miles. Silva and the soldiers soon find themselves in a race against time as the city’s military, police and street gangs close in to reclaim the asset.
Review: Mile 22 has been one of my most anticipated movies for as long as I can remember so I guess I was always going to be a little disappointed due to my unrealistically high expectations.
First of all, let me be clear; I really had a lot of fun with the movie and it had plenty of visceral hard R action with Mark Wahlberg’s character Jimmy Silva up there with his role in The Departed as an asshole you love to hate. He’s just mean to everyone and the characters in general tend to not be very sympathetic but it makes them feel more believable. The type of work they do requires them to be tough and that they are. Silva’s dialogue is hilarious but he is also very intense like the film in general.
It’s an exhausting watch as you try to keep up with the fast camera work, lightning quick dialogue and slick action scenes. The only character who is given any real development is Lauren Cohan’s Alice who tries to juggle her job and see her daughter who now lives with her ex-husband and his new wife. As the movie progresses though this storyline is all but forgotten and is replaced by wall to wall shoot-outs and bone crunching action. I have no problem with this as you can imagine but there is one issue I had with the movie that should have been the main selling point.
Iko Uwais is one of the best martial arts stars in the world; he is 100% the reason I was excited for this movie. I was looking forward to seeing spectacular fight scenes; after all this is the guy from The Raid and he even choreographed the action alongside Lateef Crowder and several others. Then why the Hell can’t we see what’s going on? The editing makes the fights difficult to see so at times you can’t make out what’s happening; although it’s not as bad as some other movies the fight scenes in Mile 22 are mostly incoherent and after watching something like the bathroom brawl in Fallout the bar has recently been significantly raised.
There are plenty of brutal moments and the shoot-outs are impressively handled with Iko Uwais proving he deserves to be the next big Hollywood action star… if only they could shoot his fight scenes properly.
Another big surprise was the casting of Ronda Rousey who is suitably badass and yet she doesn’t have any fight scenes which seemed like a waste to me. Why bother casting a former MMA fighter and then not give her some hand to hand combat?
These minor gripes of mine likely won’t bother most people and I think you’ll enjoy Mile 22 for the intense ride that it is because it’s more of an action thriller rather than a martial arts movie. It’s fast paced and the opening scene is a barnstormer as it builds up the tension with explosive results.
It’s very much open for a sequel which I would happily watch too if we can just hold that camera still and let the martial artist show people what he can do. Maybe have Gareth Evans direct instead?
Overall, Mile 22 is an intense ride with breakneck pacing and plenty of action; the fight scenes are a little disappointing and Ronda Rousey was underused but aside from that it’s still massively entertaining.