MILE 22: A dizzying crime thriller

By Jeff Ruffolo |October 11,2018 - 10:34 PM

HAVE you ever been on a cruise ship?

I sure have, along with my lovely wife and better half, Cris Evert.

We just love cruising! Except when the ship is being tossed to and fro.

If you too are “into” cruising, you will remember icky motion sickness you felt walking down a ship corridor when your vessel is being shoved back and forth by the mighty ocean.

Wikipedia says that dizziness, fatigue and nausea are the most common symptoms of motion sickness.

That sensation of seasickness is exactly how you will feel when you stumble about after watching “Mile 22,” a psychological cyber-crime thriller that has more rapid film cuts than bullets flying about.

Which are considerable.

I walked out of the theater ready to puke out my lunch to the “porcelain gods” as the quick film editing had scenes flicker on the screen for no more than three seconds.

And we are speaking of multiple interlocking themes in “Mile 22” with the lead coming from intelligence officer James Silva (Mark Wahlberg), a child prodigy of whom we are told in flashback, witnessed his family being murdered by criminals while in his youth.

As the sole survivor, Silva is emotionally scarred for life and we (the movie audience) are told of his personal tragedy over and over and how Silva carries this burden with him during his eventual rise as a team leader within the CIA.

Introduced at the film’s opening is Silva’s fellow CIA operative Alice Kerr (Lauren Cohen from TV’s “The Walking Dead”) bluffing her way into private house which doubles as an armed fortress and armed to the teeth by a gang of cybercriminals.

She enters, blasting her way through the body armor one bad guy after another, along with her compatriot Sam Snow (Rhonda Rousey) in tow and Silva dug-in in the backyard with a high powered rifle in case anyone of the bad guys decide to run for it.

Kerr and Snow manage to break down a few faux walls and plunder some computer hard drives before the criminals flick a switch.

TNT explodes all around and within seconds the house is blown into smithereens.

The film then instantly shifts with Silva and his team arriving at the US Embassy in Bogotá. Enter a mysterious quasi-criminal Li Noor (Iko Uwais) who tries to break into the US Embassy with a private message only for the “ears” of the CIA and he is hotly contested by Bogotá’s law enforcement finest who will not take “no” for an answer.

After being interrogated, Noor undergoes a throughout physical exanimation and then inexplicitly is handcuffed to a trolley and left alone.

Moments later he is gang attacked by three medical “orderlies” who are in reality paid assassins.

Noor has little trouble dispatching each of them in the bloodiest manner before admitting to the CIA that he and he alone is the bearer of critical information that holds the lives of Silva’s supervisors and their cyber security team’s lives at risk.

Silva’s supervisor, codenamed “Bishop” (John Malkovich) then pressure the CIA operative to take Noor to a remote airfield where he can be airlifted to a US Military base in Germany.

This requires Silva, Snow and Kerr to move Noor to Mile 22 where the airfield is located—hence the title of this film and this informant’s time-sensitive rendezvous with a US cargo airplane and safe departure from Columbia.

Of course, the assassins are hot on their heels and by the 56-minute mark of this film, start turning Bogotá into a shooting gallery.

Whew.

Okay, let’s get real.

What I just gave you was a short recap of “Mile 22” as the camera was shaking around so much I could barely understand the rapid-fire screenplay from writer Lea Carpenter.

Director Peter Berg should be raked over some preferably hot coals for presenting this really disjointed action flick.

Dear Reader, “Mile 22” is a freaking mess.

It has a completely unintelligible screenplay and is poorly acted with emphasis on the once-great John Malkovich.

Running his “Overload” cyber security team that directs Silva and his team with drone cameras and infra-red peek-a-boo looks into buildings, Malkovich’s Bishop just stands around using potty language and screaming at his five computer experts.

I’ve enjoyed some of Peter Berg’s previous outings, including “Battleship,” a sci-fi military action flick in Hawaii; “Patriot’s Day,” a docu-drama retelling of the terrorist bombing of the Boston Marathon and “Lone Survivor” with a small group of US Green Berets being routed in the mountains of Afghanistan.

But “Mile 22” hit a low point in Berg’s directorial career.

It is poorly directed and presents an over-the-top performance by Wahlberg who comes on so strong he simply is implausible to
believe.

My vote for the absolutely worst movie of 2018 (so far) is “Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again” and to be perfectly honest, “Mile 22” has closed in to make it a tie.

It is that bad of a movie.

If you haven’t taken a cruise ship vacation on the high seas, now you won’t have to.

Just pluck down your hard-earned pesos and go see “Mile 22” and you too will know what it like to be stuck in a room that is moving back and forth.

Back and forth.

But don’t expect room service!

Questions, comments or travel
suggestions, write me at
theruffolos@readingruffolos.com.

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