FILM REVIEW: MILE 22
BY KYLE ARANGO
Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg have been quite the actor and director duo that have produced some truly fantastic movies. They made Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, and my personal favorite, Patriots Day. All of these were exceptional, so of course I would be excited for their next project together. Could Mile 22 be the next great Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg film that establishes their place in Hollywood? Absolutely not. Mile 22 is a jumbled mess that made me both frustrated and disappointed at just how lazy it all felt.
Mile 22 follows the story of an intelligence officer and his group of tactical command officers who have to smuggle a police officer out of the country. We’ve all seen this story told before many times, Mile 22 just does it worse than most. The opening starts out strong with an action scene in a house. From there,the film just loses its direction. I hate to say it, but the thing that destroys the film the most is the directing. I am in shock at how poorly directed this is. Peter Berg chooses to shoot every scene with dialogue with the characters facing each other-but only showing one face at a time. In addition, everything else in the scene is blocked out so all you see is a face in the corner. On top of that, he continues to cut back and forth mid-sentence and it jumbles your eyes so much that you completely lose focus on the dialogue. This is a 90-minute film that felt like three hours and became a chore to sit through. As a result, I became bored and just wanted it to end.
Another thing that sinks Mile 22 is its dirt-poor script and lack of characterization. Each character in the film is the exact same as everybody else. They are all angry, tough, military people who drop F bombs mid-sentence for no apparent reason. They all clearly hate each other and are given no individual personality. They give Mark Wahlberg a trait where he continuously snaps his wrist with a rubber band, but they forget about it once the action starts. The characters don’t care for each other. So much so that there’s a scene where one is injured in a car explosion and Mark Wahlberg simply says, “you did good” and hands her two grenades to commit suicide with. It was absolutely hilarious. All of these characters are extremely unlikeable. Wahlberg is a selfish jerk who only cares for himself. Lauren Cohan is supposed to be tough but becomes a damsel in distress and is treated like a nuisance. They give her a family subplot that they do nothing with and is quickly forgotten about. John Malkovich walks around in a circle for twenty minutes. Finally, Ronda Rousey should not be acting in feature films anymore. It’s just not working for her and it becomes cringe worthy when she speaks. The entire cast is a mess and it only lessens your enjoyment of the film.
Mile 22 is an unfortunate abomination of an action film. It takes a premise you’ve seen before and does nothing special with it. Your eyes will hurt from all the editing and you won’t understand what’s going on because everything is cut together so poorly. This is a major step backward for director Peter Berg who was having a promising trajectory up until now. If you want to see a good action film, go see Mission Impossible: Fallout instead. Heck even The Meg had better action. Avoid Mile 22.