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Mile 22

also known as “22 Miles,” “22. miil,” “22 mérföld,” «22 мили», «22-ра миля»

Reviewed by: Alexander Malsan

Moral Rating: Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Action Thriller
Length: 1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release: 2018
USA Release: August 17, 2018 (wide—3,520 theaters)
DVD: November 13, 2018
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Relevant Issues

Effects of watching very heavy violence

Vulgar language

The threats of terrorism and how to deal with it

Secret government operations

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Featuring Mark WahlbergJames Silva
John MalkovichBishop—a crime lord
Lauren Cohan … Alice Kerr
Ronda Rousey … Sam Snow
Iko Uwais … Li Noor
Terry Kinney …
Poorna Jagannathan …
Sala Baker …
Lauren Mary Kim …
Alexandra Vino … Sergeant Thomas
Nikolai Nikolaeff … Aleksander
See all »
Director Peter Berg — “Lone Survivor” (2013), “Deepwater Horizon” (2016), “Patriot's Day” (2016)
Producer STX Entertainment
Closest to the Hole Productions
See all »

When diplomacy and the military fails, Overwatch is there. Located in the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, team Overwatch’s goal, as part of the CIA (or I guess, if they get captured, they’re NOT part of the CIA, I suppose) is to do the dirty work that, frankly, the CIA doesn’t want to get their hands muddy in (think Jason Bourne’s CIA, but even more secretive): kill KGB officials, you know… all that cool spy stuff you see on TV.

James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) is one of the lead members of Overwatch, and, today, his team may face their greatest challenge. Overwatch’s mission is to ascertain and acquire stolen bags of radioactive cesium that are said to be weaponized, as bombs, in six major cities across the globe. Through a string of events, James and his crew are able to capture one bag of cesium. The problem is, James and his crew have no idea where the other bags are located. However, as luck would have it, a double agent within another foreign government—named Li Noor (Iko Uwais)—approaches the U.S. Embassy gates and is taken in for questioning. Before being questioned though, during his medical examination, Noor is attacked by an unknown enemy, and Li acquires a thumb drive.

While being questioned, Li mentions that the thumb drive he contains information as to the whereabouts of the rest of the cesium (while the interrogation is occurring, however, the CIA is trying to hack the information in the thumb drive when a virus appears on screen and begins to wipe the information on the hard drive). Li states that the only way to stop the virus from erasing the data is by typing in a code and that only HE knows the code. He will only provide the it if he is given safe passage to America.

Left with no other alternative, James and his crew are given the task of transporting Li 22 miles from the Embassy to an airstrip. However, the virus will completely destroy the thumb drive in 8 hours, and the plane can only wait so long at the airstrip before it will be forced to take off without Li. And there is a horde of enemies after Li.

Just another day for James.

Let me get straight to the point: “ is a ” is a mess from top to bottom. While I appreciate that the film makes the plot simple enough to follow, the pacing is so fast I spent most of the time trying to play “catch-up” or “connect-the-dots” with what has transpired. It is NEVER a good sign when I have to lean over to my guest and state, “Wait, I don’t get it. Why are they doing this again? Who are they?”

Additionally, some of the characteristics of the main characters, as the family member who attended the film with me pointed out, simply detracted and distracted from what could have been excellent performances. For instance, Mark Wahlberg’s character is a mile-a-minute-thinker with loads of aggression (perhaps bi-polar as one character suggests), who rambles a lot without being aware of the social context. Was his performance okay? Sure. Did it really add much to the story? No. Did it detract from his character? Sort of. In parallel, I had hoped that co-stars Lauren Cohan and John Malkovich had much larger roles in this film, but they aren’t given as much screen time and are too often overshadowed throughout the film.

Lastly, my overall feel is that “ as I ” tends to take elements of some of the greatest spy films (such as 007, the Bourne films) and mesh it all into one big film that, truthfully, doesn’t work.

On a much more positive note, the action sequences were really well done (though very graphic at times), and there are some great chase sequences, as well, to entertain the adrenaline lover. Still, some thing’s missing with this film…

Objectionable Content

*Please be aware that I have not listed every moment of violence in the film, as there was too much of it to address.

Violence: Extreme. There is a graphic fight scene involving Li and some supposed orderlies, while he is being examined at the Embassy. He cuts and stabs them with glass, smashes their head with a part of the hospital bed, in addition to repeatedly beating them to a pulp. In another scene, Silva and his men raid a home that is housing KGB agents. They round up the agents and execute them. One of them jumps out of a window and lands in front of Silva who executes him as ordered (although he is at first hesitant. There are several scenes in which people are shot in the knees and in other areas, with a lot of resulting blood; these scenes are incredibly graphic. One Overwatch member commits suicide with grenades, taking enemies with her. Silva graphically recounts detailed results of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Profanity/Vulgarity: Extreme. 60 f-bombs, sh*t (15), and multiple uses of a**-hole, b*tch, h*ll, and a graphic term for oral sex. God’s name is misused twice (once as G*d-d**n) and Jesus’ name is misused once.

Nudity: Moderate. Silva walks in to the women’s locker room when Alice walks out of the shower in a towel (she is covered). Li is asked to strip down to his underwear.

It is sad that, even in a film such as this, I can draw no redeeming morals.

Final Thoughts

“Mile 22” is pure chaos… and I’m not just talking about the action sequences. The plot points, the performances and the overall quality needs some serious work, not to mention the plethora of graphic violence, profanity and small amounts of nudity one has to endure that adds absolutely nothing to the film. This is certainly not a movie for children. It’s not even a movie for adults, and it is CERTAINLY not a movie Christ would approve of if He were to return today. Do yourself a huge favor, since I’ve already viewed it for you, and skip “Mile 22.”

  • Violence: Extreme—and bloody
  • Profane language: Heavy— • “J*sus” • “G*d-d*mn” • “Holy sh*t” • “My G*d” • “h*ll” (3)
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Extreme— • “motherf***…” (5) • other f-words (around 60) • “c*cks*cker” • “pr*ck” • “s*cked” • “a**hole” • s-words (15+) • “a**” (2) • “b*tch” • “son of a b*tch”
  • Nudity: Moderate
  • Sex: • one moderate sexual comment • no sex scenes
  • Occult: none
Editor’s Note: Depending on audience reception, “Mile 22” is intended to be the first in a franchise with two theatrical sequels planned and an announced TV series called “The Kiev Exchange.”

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative—This movie has more expletives and foul-mouthed characters than imaginable. Lots of fighting, explosions, and gunplay, fairly lucid predictable plot with a slight twist at the end, but a great disappointment for a Wahlberg fan. Won’t bother going to the sequel.

I thought this would be more of a taut psychological CIA thriller type movie, but it wasn’t. Would strongly advise against this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Dennis, age (USA)

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Secular Movie Critics
…full of stunts, fights, explosions, and satellite views of kill zones. …It doesn’t get bogged down with exposition, instead providing a full adrenaline-and-testosterone cocktail that packs a kick. …[3]
James Berardinelli, ReelViews
…Berg and Wahlberg deliver a relentlessly paced, addictively slick paramilitary thriller actively catering to fans of gonzo brutality and turbocharged machismo…
Tom Russo, The Boston Globe
…“Mile 22” is one nasty piece of work. It’s an action picture that’s hard-core to the core, populated entirely by killers with nary a truly sympathetic figure among them. But it does deliver. …
Soren Andersen, The Seattle times
…frenzied black-ops thriller. It's like a “Bourne” film that aims lower and hits. …It’s a rolling orgy of grenades and micro-bombs and cars themselves used as bashing weapons. The body count is high… Berg, when he wants to be, is a surgical craftsman of chaos. Yet “Mile 22” has little weight or resonance. …
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…strong on action but weak on plot… It’s both a bit confusing and a bit confused. Fortunately, it’s also loaded with some of the crunchiest action scenes since the John Wick movies thanks to Indonesian martial-arts maestro Iko Uwais… [C+]
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
…The action is frantic and brutal, and the movie itself has an ugly tone. …Wahlberg's frenetic line readings…sound hysterical, high-pitched, and silly. …you may be looking, as I was, to exit “Mile 22” at around Mile 5. …[2/4]
Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
…A testosterone cocktail of reactionary sound bites and incoherent action that even Michael Bay might have rejected as too amped, Peter Berg’s “Mile 22” makes for an appalling referendum on the state of commercial cinema in 2018. …
Ben Kenigsberg, The New York Times
…an angry, hyperviolent downer of an action flick that is the August blowout-sale of its ilk: loud and desperate…
Robert Abele, The Wrap
…A lean, mean action machine… There is plenty of skill and a measure of merit in the compressed style… there's really nothing to take away afterwards. There is nothing to think about, no nuances to contemplate, no connection with these characters who exist only in moments of hyper-tension and crisis, no greater truths to consider other than to prevail. …
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
…rehashing the most basic and overblown action clichés… The film’s almost elemental plot is matched by a corresponding lack of characterization. …When Silva [Mark Wahlberg]…barks out derivative commands and asinine statements that make him sound like a 13-year-old playing “Call of Duty.” …[1/4]
Jake Coyle, Slant Magazine
…the worst movie of the summer… In the spirit of fairness, it’s worth noting that “Mile 22” has a couple of decent surprises up its sleeve. …
David Ehrlich, IndieWire