Mile 22 is the latest film from the duo of director Peter Berg and leading man Mark Wahlberg, this time following the story of an undercover CIA military team called Overwatch, led by Jimmy Silva (Wahlberg); a hot headed, overconfident type with a penchant for putting his mission ahead of doing the ‘right’ thing.
Overwatch’s mission involves the smuggling and extraction of a mysterious police officer, who has information key to preventing an impending terror attack by an even more mysterious Russian organisation.
The film’s premise is straightforward, serving as a canvas for a ninety-minute chase sequence packed with plenty of shootouts, explosions and visceral hand-to-hand combat that will be sure to pique action lovers’ interests. Berg’s direction of these sequences is extremely aggressive, and weak-stomached viewers should prepare for some gruesome violence.
However, the action is perhaps the most notable and memorable aspect of Mile 22, mostly due to hyperactive editing that doesn’t allow shots to linger for more than a second or two; presumably a stylistic choice to synchronise with protagonist Jimmy’s hyperactive brain – a symptom that prompts him to wear a wristband that he ‘snaps’ to calm down. While the editing makes sense in this regard, it also makes the film unnecessarily confusing at the best of times and, at worst, nauseating.
It also attempts to distract from the lack of character development and a less than engaging story. Aside from a brief recap of Jimmy Silva’s life up to the present day (during an opening credit sequence that shows AND tells the audience all about his neurological symptoms), the members of Overwatch are vaguely sketched and there’s little audience investment when danger strikes.
Ultimately, aside from one particular shot involving a car window that is a frontrunner for the most gratuitous display of violence put on film this year, Mile 22 is a fairly forgettable action movie that prides itself on adrenaline-pumping sequences and not a lot else.
In cinemas: August 30, 2018
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey
Directed by: Peter Berg