Llanelli Star - - Film Reviews -

MILE 22 (18) ★★★★★

THE bro­mance of di­rec­tor Peter Berg and mus­cu­lar lead­ing man Mark Wahlberg has been go­ing strong since 2013, when the two men ven­tured into war-torn Afghanista­n for the ex­plo­sive true story of Lone Survivor. Two fur­ther tales of gung-ho, real-life hero­ism – Deep­wa­ter Hori­zon and Pa­tri­ots Day – fol­lowed.

Mile 22 cranks up the on-screen vi­o­lence, cram­ming as many slam-bang thrills as pos­si­ble into 94 adren­a­line-fu­elled min­utes.

Wahlberg plays James Silva (pic­tured), leader of a team of black ops soldiers code-named Over­watch, who un­der­take se­cret mis­sions for the US gov­ern­ment un­der the com­mand of han­dler James Bishop (John Malkovich) aka Mother.

The squad tracks a stolen ship­ment of highly toxic cae­sium, which can be weaponised to kill thou­sands, to a Rus­sian safe house on Amer­i­can soil. “You’re mak­ing a mis­take,” an in­jured 18-year-old sus­pect snarls at Silva.

“I’ve made a lot of them,” coldly replies the US agent be­fore he clin­i­cally dis­penses a bul­let into the teenager’s head.

Six­teen months later in In­do­carr City, po­lice of­fi­cer Li Noor (Iko Uwais) ar­rives unan­nounced at the US em­bassy, claim­ing to know the lo­ca­tion of the cae­sium. He prom­ises to share this in­tel­li­gence as soon as he is safely on a plane to Amer­ica.

Silva as­sem­bles his team to es­cort Li Noor the 22 miles from the US em­bassy to the air­field. Within a minute, Over­watch comes un­der at­tack from gun-tot­ing mo­tor­cy­clists and the fight for sur­vival be­gins.


SPECTRES of the past lash out with hor­ri­fy­ing con­se­quences in The Lit­tle Stranger, an am­bigu­ous thriller of sim­mer­ing de­sires set in­side a crum­bling man­sion in the af­ter­math of the Sec­ond World War.

Dr Fara­day (Domh­nall Gleeson, pic­tured) is sum­moned to Hun­dreds Hall, which is owned by phys­i­cally and men­tally scarred soldier Rod­er­ick Ayres (Will Poul­ter), who ex­hibits symp­toms of post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der. Rod­er­ick lives in the prop­erty with down­trod­den sis­ter Caro­line (Ruth Wil­son), im­pe­ri­ous mother An­gela (Char­lotte Ram­pling) and a house­maid, Betty (Liv Hill).

The vet­eran is con­vinced that a dark force in the house means him harm.

Fara­day be­comes a reg­u­lar visi­tor to the house and a du­ti­ful com­pan­ion to spin­ster Caro­line.

Dur­ing a din­ner party, a young guest is mauled by the fam­ily’s nor­mally placid labrador. Soon af­ter, Fara­day dis­cov­ers scrawls on a wall pur­port­edly left by An­gela’s dead daugh­ter Su­san (Tip­per Seifert Cleve­land). As An­gela’s men­tal state un­rav­els, Fara­day steps in to over­see her treat­ment, clash­ing with Caro­line about the best course of ac­tion.

Adapted from Sarah Wa­ters’ gothic novel, A Lit­tle Stranger is an im­pres­sive ex­er­cise in mood and in­fer­ence, which holds us in a steely grip for al­most two hours.

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