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Author Topic: MILE 22 (2018)  (Read 101 times)
Master of disaster

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« on: November 23, 2020, 01:20:22 PM »

MILE 22 is another good action movie with an awful title (think EDGE OF TOMORROW or THE OTHER GUYS).

Mark Wahlberg stars as the head of an elite super spy action unit taking on the very worst of terror threats.  The first scene shows the team - which features the mis-cast John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan (Glen's wife from THE WALKING DEAD), and Ronda Rousey - smoothly taking out a set of Russian terrorists hiding out in a suburban neighborhood.

The team's next mission - stopping the release of a radioactive isotope capable of destroying multiple cities - does not go as smoothly.  In that regard, it's a bit like Wahlberg's LONG SURVIVOR.

Peter Berg (who directed LONE SURVIVOR) does his level best to match MISSION IMPOSSIBLE's action scenes, and in a general sense, he succeeds.  Berg is usually uses more of a hand-held, almost documentary, style of directing but in MILE 22 he tries slicking it up a bit, using smoother tracking shots, static shots, and the like.  It's not as amazing as some bigger budget action movies, but all in all, the violence is slick and there is a lot of it.

While this works, because the budget is lower and because Wahlberg - good as an actor as he is - is no Tom Cruise, the effect comes off as more of a movie aimed directly at Netflix as opposed to a truly big budget cinema film.  I think perhaps Berg should have stuck with a grittier style as it would feel more personal and not as generic as some of the other Hollywood MISSION IMPOSSIBLE style movies (think Chris Helmsworth's EXTRACTION, another good but poorly titled action film).

While there are gigantic plot holes and some ridiculous statements (at one point a character claims the pilot school in Florida where the 9/11 terrorists trained didn't warn the FBI - they did, but the FBI director Robert Mueller ignored said warnings), because the action is good and lasts for long stretches, you can forgive the various mis-steps.  I mentioned that Malovich is mis-cast, and that's because he is.  He tries to play a tough over-seer of the team, but just look's out of place.  About the best part of his performance is his toupee. 

But the rest of the cast is strong, particularly Iko Uwais, an Indonesian stunt man who's made the leap into acting.  His kung-fu is outstanding, and he's a very solid actor to boot.  He essentially steals the film.

And that's because Wahlberg is far more believable as local beat cop than a elite super-spy.  He worked in his role in LONE SURVIVOR because most of that film is his character getting the shit kicked out of him as he runs away.  This part requires him to be more than that and while he's OK in the part, he's no Tom Cruise.  He's good, not great.

Which is a good description of the whole movie is as a whole - think of it as a souped up movie of the week and you'll have fun with it, and it's decent date movie as well.  But the movie falls short of its lofty goal of being as good as a James Bond or MISSION IMPOSSIBLE movie, a fact that the cliff hanger ending requiring a sequel that will likely not get made exacerbates.

BOTTOM LINE: 3.5 "this movies reminds you just how good Tom Cruise & those M.I. movies are" out of 5 stars

« Last Edit: November 23, 2020, 01:34:02 PM by jdv » Logged

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