Every year movie critics around the world are not very excited about one specific month. We are of course talking about the month of January, the month when most movie studios release films that no one will care about. There are quite many films that have been released in the month of January that critics have panned for different reasons, such as The Bye Bye Man, The Green Hornet, Dirty Grandpa or Friend Request. Of course movie studios are mostly focused on the big seasons such as summer time, or holidays like Easter or Thanksgiving. It is not hard to understand why, because they might get a big cash hit if people run to the cinema to see some big names on screen. But in 2013, something happened in January that not many people would have expected. A film was released that month that was both enjoyed by critics and did well at the box office, the war drama movie Lone Survivor from director Peter Berg. Based on the true story of what happened with United State´s Navy Seal´s counter-insurgent mission Operation Red Wings, in Afghanistan. What made this film so good, was that the acting surprised me in a very positive way. And i have to say that the action scenes was also well made by director Peter Berg. If you have not seen Lone Survivor, you should check it out. Director Peter Perg and actor Mark Wahlberg continued working together in their next collaboration called Deepwater Horizon. A really well made drama action film, based on the true story of the explosion of oil rig Deepwater Horizon. A really strong cast, and a very strong story is included, that made this film so good. But the collaboration between Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg continued with Patriots Day, another strong film based on the tragedy of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Director Peter Berg proved once again why he is so good with making powerful films, and Patriots Day managed to tell this story in a very emotional way. After Patriots Day came out on DVD and Blu Ray, i was hearing rumors about another collaboration with Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg. Of course this made me curious, since they have managed to deliver quality films since 2013. The film is called Mile 22 and is described as an espionage action thriller. I was supposed to see this film in a Cinema, but that never happened, so i watched the movie on Blu Ray instead. Since this is the fourth time that Berg and Wahlberg work together, do they strike another homerun with Mile 22, or is the magic gone this time with a much weaker production ?
CIA Agent and former U.S. Marine veteran James Silva ( Mark Wahlberg ), leads a Special Activities Division team code-named Overwatch to raid a Russian FSB safe house. Under the remote supervision of James Bishop ( John Malkovich ) and his team. The mission is to locate and destroy shipments of caesium, to prevent it from being used as a radioactive weapon. A firefight takes out most of the Russians and Overwatch operate Greg Vickers ( Cedric Gervais ) is killed. But the caesium is destroyed. James executes the last survivor, a teenager who warns him that they are making a mistake. 16 months later, in the South Asian country of Indocarr, police officer Li Noor ( Iko Uwais ) surrender himself to the U.S. Embassy to negotiate for passage out of the country in exchange for information. Li is carrying information about the caesium on a disc. He will unlock the information, if they let him out of the country. Unless they follow his rule, the information will be destroyed since it is programmed to self destruct. Silvia´s team is instructed to take Noor to an airplane at an airstrip 22 miles away. John Silva´s team is about to face their hardest mission yet.
Since director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg have delivered some solid films in recent years, Mile 22 does not reach the same quality level as before. This is a pretty ordinary straight in your face action film, that does not hold any big surprises. You could say that this is the movie that director Peter Berg, decided to follow the predictable action genre, like he did with Battleship. The difference here between Mile 22 and Battleship, is that Battleship is a stupid action film that does have some entertainment value. Mile 22 do have some action scenes that works, but at the end of the day there is not a lot more to be happy about here. The film starts off good, and you would have hoped that Mile 22 would have continued delivering some solid action scenes. But then this film slows down, and become a bit boring for a while. And that is not a good sign when you know this is supposed to be an action film. Mark Wahlberg, who plays the lead character James Silva, talks a hell of a lot. In fact, there are moments in this film where i want him to stop talking and just shoot people down instead. I have to say that this is one of the worst performances i have seen Mark Wahlberg do in a very long time, and he ususally never does a bad performance. But his character is not very interesting, just annoying at times. Actress Lauren Cohan as the character Alice Kerr is more interesting than James Silva, but for some reason i don´t feel that she deliver enough power. I would have wanted her to be more rough, and just rip some balls off. The best character in this film is martial arts action star Iko Uwais. When he starts to fight ( especially in one scene where he is handcuffed ) you finally get the right stuff. Fast, really furious fight scenes, just the way we like it. And to be honest, without Iko Uwais in this film, Mile 22 would have fallen very flat, because he is the reason you want to watch this film, not because of Mark Wahlberg. I am happy to see legendary actor John Malkovich here as the character Bishop. But what i love most about his character, is that he have the same hair as Kurt Russel in the Science fiction action movie Soldier from 1998. Could it be that John Malkovich love the 1998 B movie so much, he wanted to make his tribute to the film in Mile 22 ? If so, he did do a good job. But his performance is not very strong, and he is not in many scenes either. So is there anything else you should know ? Not really, but this is by far the worst movie with director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg. It is such a shame, because i have enjoyed their previous films. Let´s hope they work together again, and do something better than Mile 22. This is a film you will most likely forget about, i know i have already forgotten i watched this film. Wow, that does not happen very often.