Action movies to many seem like a dime a dozen, but adrenaline fans like me always look for the thrills to come in any form. Tonight, I finish my week of reviews with another slam-bang, explosion riddled feature that hopes to excite the audience that plans to go see it. Yes, tonight the poorly advertised Mile 22 is in theaters and with it the hopes that Mark Wahlbergcan bring another gun heavy movie some positive energy and laughs. What’s in store? Robbie K is here to help you out with another movie review. Let’s get started:
Movie: Mile 22 (2018)
The Pace: It’s brisk, it’s fast, and it is perfect for an action film. Mile 22 has few breaks once the excitement goes, with the last 35-40 minutes being nothing but high intensity violence and mayhem. True, there is a middle part meant to build the suspense and lay the story, but this slow part soon ends, and leaves you ready to take on the special effects fest.
The Use of Characters: This movie has a lot of characters, and therefore a lot of responsibility to utilize them. Mile 22 succeeds in bringing all the team together to try and accomplish the goal. Whether it is the support team, the villains, or the ground team, almost everyone introduced has a significant role to play and gets there moments to shine. Certainly, some more than others, but Mile 22 accomplished the integration mission.
Make-Up: Minor like, but I give props to the group involved with the transformation of the agents from pristine elite to looking as if they have gone through hell and back. The artificial blood, the contusions and abrasions, even the various bullet wounds are all nicely crafted to looking realistic and bringing the edge to the movie.
Mark Wahlberg’s character… sometimes: The lead of the team holds a lot on his shoulders, but one thing that his character brought was the comedy and action point of the film. His character has some issues that he lives with, allowing him to talk at a thousand miles an hour and being funny at the same time. It’s the same type of Wahlberg character, just a little more amped and over the top, sometimes to the point of annoyance, but then he redeems himself and somehow comes through.
Action: The battles in this movie are semi-carbon copy sequences of what feels like a video game from Tom Clancy’s work. Yet, despite the similarities, these fights are still dynamic enough to feel different and blend together to unleash an exciting sequence. Gun battles are strategic and suspenseful, supported by plenty of pyrotechnics to help shake things up with a nice light show. When close combat evolves, it’s modern meeting traditional martial arts moves, including using grandiose kill moves using out of the ordinary tools. Things mix together well, and really go out in the exciting climax you wanted.
The Violence: A minor dislike and more of a warning, Mile 22 is not for the faint of heart or the sensitive. It’s action is certainly fast paced, but the film has plenty of detailed shots involving graphic finishes and bloody blasts. Like an episode of the Walking Dead, a few characters have close ups of some projectile or tool going through their body, and sometimes a little drawn out. Therefore, seriously consider taking little ones or those who don’t stomach things well to this film.
Lazy Writing: The dialogue isn’t that unique, the jargon is heavy, but the worst is the mindless cursing integrated in the film. You know from my previous reviews that overuse of the F word just annoys me because it holds no real value for me. Sadly Mile 22 doesn’t care and is more than happy to fill your ears with the lovely word.
The Lackluster Story/Character Development: They tried, really they did, but Mile 22’s characters are superficial, puddle deep, in regards to details. Some hasty character introductions, a few lines of dialogue to talk interests, and a hasty montage are the extent of most characters inner workings. As such, you’re not really connected to the characters outside of their other works and celebrity status. Even the story itself has needed work, for its presented in a very ambiguous manner that seems like a mad chess game with deadly tools of destruction. Given some action films forgo a story, Mile 22 really needed some plot development to actually care about the characters.
The Twist: It was a surprise, it integrated what seemed random moments, but I was not a fan of the ending. One part is because this ending felt out of place with the majority of the film, the left-wing tangent just didn’t do it for me. In addition, the ending was just very truncated, abruptly dropped out in five minutes and left on a very open terms. If you like that kind of surprise, yay, but perhaps some closure was needed to end it in the right place for me.
The Camera Work: Action movie can be tough to film, but why in the world do some people struggle with camera work in this genre. Much of it works for me, but the close-up fights are a mad array of camera changes, trying to get all the angles of the fight. While it added some edge to the film, the chaotic camera actually robbed the detail and at times were useless images that only alliterated to the moves being executed. Fortunately, these moments are few, but the close combat fight could have been even better if they had worked on camera dynamics.
Mile 22 delivers on the action, not shying around the destruction and violence to really bring the adrenaline thrilled themes it promised. It’s ending is the highlight of the film, and it has all the bells and whistles to support the grand design of destruction. Yet, the movie really wont’ strike well with many looking for more past the action craze that it brings and doesn’t dive far into the qualities some people relish in story and characters. In addition, some of the camera choice may not work for you given the unstable camera work. Overall though, worth the trip to the theater because of the special effects focus, otherwise holdout until it hits homes.
Movie Overall: 6.0-6.5