The Wahl

CROSS­FIRE AS TEAM MUST OUTRUN DAN­GER

Daily Star Sunday - - RESULT! -

This is also the per­spec­tive of the team’s boss, who goes by the sup­pos­edly cool code name of Mother.

Played by John Malkovich with a dodgy bar­net (there’s noth­ing gritty about that syrup), his job is to bark sweary or­ders from a con­trol room while keep­ing an eye on his crew’s pulse rates via split-screen mon­i­tors.

Wahlberg is skulk­ing in the gar­den with a ma­chine gun, but when the Ruskies blow up the house and a young spy flies out of a win­dow, he springs into ac­tion.

“You’re mak­ing a big mis­take,” says the Rus­sian as Wahlberg stands over him.

“I’ve made a lot,” he fires back be­fore blast­ing him in the head.

The ac­tion is hard to follow at times, but this has to count as a strong open­ing.

Wahlberg’s char­ac­ter James Silva is upset be­cause the “in­tel” on the raid was wrong. The house was sup­posed to con­tain chem­i­cal weapons for the Rus­sians to wipe out sev­eral US cities, pre­sum­ably af­ter do­ing a bit of brass rub­bing at lo­cal cathe­drals. Thank­fully, a dou­ble agent (played by mar­tial arts ace Iko Uwais) turns up at the US em­bassy in a fic­tional Asian city, claim­ing to have the plans on a disk. He says he’ll only give up the pass­word once he has been granted asy­lum and is safely on a plane to Amer­ica. But as lo­cal po­lice ap­pear to be in ca­hoots with Rus­sia, the 22-mile drive to the air­port in­volves shoot outs, car chases and some shock­ingly grue­some mano-amano show­downs.

The shaky cam­era and rapid edit­ing work fine for the most part but feel out of place when Uwais steps up to the plate.

If you have seen him in The Raid, you’ll know his fight­ing skills are best served by long takes and wide an­gles.

Still, there’s enough here to jus­tify the se­quel-bait­ing end­ing.

And if Berg and Wahlberg want to stay true to their brand, the next one will be a knock­about farce.

■ MAR­TIAL LAW: Iko Uwais and, left, Malkovich SPOOKED: Fara­day is haunted by events of his past

■ RUN­NING A MILE: Iko Uwais and Lau­ren Co­han

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