Film

Mile 22

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American action auteur Peter Berg is a dab hand at mining real-world tragedy for thrills – his previous feature, 2016’s Patriot’s Day, chronicled the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and its aftermath. Mile 22 is, conversely an exercise in ultra-violent escapist fantasy, albeit one rooted in widespread paranoia about international terrorism. Mark Wahlberg plays James Silva, a high-ranking CIA officer tasked with averting an imminent attack by escorting intelligence source Li Noor (Iko Uwais) across 22 miles of hostile urban territory to an airfield for extraction. Wahlberg’s excessively mannered performance is somewhat distracting – Silva clearly has some form of behavioural disorder, but its precise nature is never established. As such, it’s unsettling when his ferocious temper and bluntness are played for laughs. Berg serves up a handful of queasily enjoyable action sequences, but the film is neither slick enough to hold its own against action blockbusters like Mission: Impossible – Fallout, nor sufficiently lurid to satiate fans of straight-up exploitation cinema.

Mile 22 | Directed by Peter Berg (USA, 2018) with Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohen, John Malkovich. Starts September 20.

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