Mile 22

Out Now On-Demand

90 minutes. 22 miles. Zero back up.

Mark Wahlberg rejoins his Patriots Day director Peter Berg in this action thriller co-starring Indonesian action star Iko Uwais (Headshot).

A CIA field officer (Wahlberg) and an Indonesian police officer (Uwais) are forced to work together in confronting political corruption. An informant must be moved twenty-two miles to safety.

Peter Berg's enthusiastic embrace of being Michael Bay-lite continues full steam ahead. Here, he's taken a fantastic plot set-up for an action flick, a few brilliant players, a hard R rating and squandered it all on a frustrating mess of a film.

There's an impressively large amount of blood spilt in Mile 22, with bone breakings and headshots galore as fists, bullets and blades fly for most of the running time. Although the violence is nice and graphic, it's always difficult to see who is shooting who, from what direction, at what distance and so on. Berg has clearly seen The Raid films and been influenced by them, but the visual coherence that makes those so great is lost to a machine-gun editing style.

That lack of clarity in the set-pieces is carried over to all other aspects of the film, most nauseatingly in the dialogue. The viewer is constantly thrown into conversations without a clear idea of what everyone's talking about and then thrust back and forth from that into other scenes. Characters can be mid-sentence—even mid-word—when it cuts to someone in a different place saying something else. It's done to give everything a chaotic, urgent feel—which it does, but the result is exceedingly unpleasant.

There's also random bits of Marky Mark and John Malkovich opining over what's going on as poetic narrators. There are references to Trump's collusion with Russia, musings on the nature of special forces operations and the occasional proverb all thrown into this scrapbook mish-mash.

Wahlberg is grumpily squawking at his friends when he's not shooting at his enemies. He even angrily smashes a birthday cake at one point, he's so upset at the world. That's kind of how I felt after watching Mile 22. Some of the action is cool and Iko Uwais is mint, but this is a bit of a waste.

FilmInk (Australia)

press

...wince-inducing in the extreme...

TimeOut (New York)

press

The two times Uwais is allowed to bust out his fighting moves, the scenes are Cuisinarted into incomprehensible shreds, and the point becomes not the precision and virtuosity of his skills, but the broken bones and spurting gore that end each mano-a-mano.

Hollywood Reporter

press

There's not an ounce of flab here, nothing inessential to the urgent goal of getting the key characters where they're going before the clock expires.

New York Times

press

"Mile 22" makes for an appalling referendum on the state of commercial cinema in 2018.

Rolling Stone

press

Mile 22 can give you chase scenes and bullet-ridden shoot-outs and evil Russians and lengthy diatribes. What it can't give you is a watchable action movie.

Collider

press

A deeply nihilistic and grotesque experience.

Variety (USA)

press

It's a spiky propulsive thriller, at once exciting and numbing, packed with weaponry - rocket launchers and chunky black machine guns - as well as hand-to-hand combat that's marked by its quick-time viciousness.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

press

Mile 22 is an over-stated and predictable film. But as a showcase for some serviceable camerawork, bravura editing and occasionally brilliantly inventive fight choreography, it ticks the boxes. Bravo.