I am not going to waste your time nor mince words, so let’s get this out of the way immediately – Mile 22 is loud, ugly, and contains no artistic value to be found anywhere in its excruciating 95-minute runtime. How exactly did a big budget film directed by Peter Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg go so wrong?
Mile 22 follows Overwatch, a government black ops division led by James Silva (Mark Wahlberg). Silva suffers from ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and with about all anger issues imaginable. A recent bust for a radioactive substance, cesium, in Southeast Asia does not go as smoothly as planned. Attempting to repair the damage from the intel he gave to Silva’s next in command, Alice (Lauren Cohan), police officer Li Noor (Iko Uwais), brings her an encrypted solid state drive which he claims has the locations of several different cesium caches.
However, he will only unlock it if Overwatch gets him on a plane to the United States Of America. He has hard proof about the corruption of his government, specifically the Chief Intelligence Officer Axel (Sam Medina), who plays the different gangs and politicians to his advantageous means. Overwatch now has a limited amount of time to get Noor the 22 miles to the rendezvous point with the airplane. As the team sets on their journey with the asset, they encounter motorcycle gangs, hired thugs, and ruthlessly trained mercenaries, all who want to kill Noor before he leaves the country.
Lea Carpenter’s screenplay is based on a story concept that she and Graham Roland conceived; presumably while watching 16 Blocks, which shares a remarkably similar story structure (the specifics are different enough though). Mile 22 represents Carpenter’s first screenplay of any kind, feature-length or short form, and that inexperience makes itself known from the opening scene. The plot is nonsensical, and the characterizations are, for the most part, non-existent.
“Silva suffers from ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and with about all anger issues imaginable…”