Over the past five years, Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg have become one of the top actor/director combos in Hollywood with Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day. Their latest collaboration, Mile 22, is a self-serious slog that fails in almost every regard. It will go down as one of the worst movies of 2018.
Mark Wahlberg plays James Silva, a savant CIA-operative who receives zero characterization outside of the opening two minutes. He is generally unlikeable and feels like a cheap rip-off of Ben Affleck's character in The Accountant. The issue here is that Wahlberg does not convincingly deliver the dialogue and often sounds confused by what he is saying. Silva is also always shown snapping the rubber band around his wrist, a way of slowing down his mind. We're expected to believe that he is so smart that he needs to stop himself from being too brilliant. It's insulting when you consider that he is always one step behind the ever-obvious, run-of-the-mill government bad guys.
Lea Carpenter's script is unnecessarily convoluted. Ideally, Mile 22 is a straightforward rescue mission, but instead, it tries to be something more. Exactly what it wants to be, that's hard to say. Within it, you'll find everything from Russian hackers to commentary on technological advancements and how they threaten our privacy. The movie has plenty of surface intelligence but is hallow if you do even the slightest of digging.
Ronda Rousey makes her return to the big screen and is serviceable with the little she is asked to do (at one point she reads a Wikipedia page). There are moments when her facial expressions and the way she moves are robotic, but there are also a few scenes where she delivers far beyond her pay-grade. She has improved substantially since appearing in Entourage and Furious Seven.
Peter Berg turns in his worst directorial effort since Battleship, which is arguably the most disheartening aspect of Mile 22. The way he shoots the action sequences is particularly maddening. He opts for the WWE method of production and litters the screen with shaky cam, quick cuts, and generally indecipherable fights. Watching Iko Uwais' choreography could have been a treat in itself, (check out The Raid: Redemption and The Raid 2 if you haven't already) all we needed was a wide shot!
Don't waste your time on Mile 22. It has a strong opening and a pair of decent action beats but is otherwise a letdown. A seemingly non-ironic "Say hi to your mother for me" is the closest we get to having fun during the poorly paced 95-minute runtime. The editing is erratic, Peter Berg's direction is at times (quite literally) nauseating, Wahlberg is out of his depth, there are too many monologues and eye-rolling plot points, and the ending is a hot mess. The list of misdeeds goes on, so it's probably best to move forward and forget it ever happened.
Rating: 2/10 (Poor)