Mile 22

 

starhalf

 


This frantic spy thriller really fails to go any distance at all.

 

Mile 22

Iko Uwais finds himself in the wrong film

 

In a very confused plot, a US special operations team are out to locate shipments of deadly poisonous caesium which the Russians have planted in order to recreate a nuclear disaster. Mark Wahlberg, here making his fourth film with director Peter Berg (of Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day fame) plays James Silva, head ops honcho outside on the ground trying to prevent a calamitous situation from developing.

 

Kick-boxing specialist Iko Uwais plays Li Noor, a former Indonesian Special Forces spy, who has the key to where the last cache of caesium is stored. To deliver the necessary code he asks for safe passage out of the country. The plot hinges on the will-he, won’t-he make it to the flight before zero hour and the disc of caesium destroys itself and the information it contains. Meanwhile, under cover of relative safety indoors, Silva’s boss, James Bishop (John Malkovich), issues his mantra-like orders to Silva, just to keep him and us up to speed on these coagulated goings-on.

 

And speed is of the essence as Li Noor tries to combat a situation in which his own Indonesian masters are also out to get him. He does this mainly by destroying anything that comes in his path. See a whole hospital facility broken into little pieces, something the NHS would never allow here. The title of the film refers to the distance that Silva has to get Noor back on the plane but, of course, there are plenty of crashes and smashes and things that go bump en route.

 

Admittedly, the action is spectacular but it’s all in aid of something not very interesting. Wahlberg doesn’t even try to engage our sympathy, so ends up as just another rather surly anti-hero. The best performance comes from Iko Uwais, so good in The Raid and The Raid 2, that you would think here he is definitely in the wrong film.

 

MICHAEL DARVELL

 

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Iko Uwais, Lauren Cohan, Ronda Rousey, John Malkovich, Carlo Alban, Natasha Goubskaya, Terry Kinney, Sam Medina, Emily Skeggs, Peter Berg.

 

Dir Peter Berg, Pro Peter Berg, Stephen Levinson and Mark Wahlberg, Screenplay Lea Carpenter, from a story by Graham Roland and Lea Carpenter, Ph Jacques Jouffret, Pro Des Andrew Menzies, Ed Melissa Lawson Cheung and Colby Parker Jr, Music Jeff Russo, Costumes Virginia Johnson.

 

Film 44/STX Entertainment/Closest to the Hole Productions/The Hideaway Entertainment-STX International.

94 mins. USA. 2018. Rel: 19 September 2018. Cert. 18.