Wrong turn for Wahlberg

The Galloway News - - THE TICKET -

Mile 22 marks the fourth col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween direc­tor Peter Berg and his new muse Mark Wahlberg.

The pair may love work­ing to­gether but their movies have yet to rise above mid­dle-of-theroad – and this mix be­tween 16 Blocks, Si­cario and other sim­i­lar su­pe­rior flicks doesn’t even get that far.

That’s de­spite an at­ten­tion-grab­bing open­ing se­quence fea­tur­ing a raid on a wood­land prop­erty, shot us­ing mul­ti­ple cam­eras, drones and heat sen­sors, which comes to a fiery end.

From there, though, Gra­ham Roland and Lea Car­pen­ter’s story comes to a grind­ing halt to bom­bard us with an over­abun­dance of set-up and more curs­ing than a Tarantino movie.

The in­trigu­ing con­cept of a top-se­cret tac­ti­cal com­mand unit, led by Wahlberg’s men­tal­lytrou­bled Silva, and their ef­forts to smug­gle mys­te­ri­ous cop Li (Iko Uwais) out of In­done­sia gets bogged down with un­nec­es­sary di­a­logue bursts and plot strands that go nowhere, like Alice’s (Lau­ren Co­han) on­line bick­er­ing with her ex-hus­band.

Sadly the off-the-grid unit isn’t one to root for; Wahlberg’s foul-tem­pered head of op­er­a­tions is one of the least like­able lead­ing men you’re likely to lay eyes on.

Us­ing rapid-fire speech and flick­ing an elas­tic band against his wrist, it’s a sim­plis­tic and grat­ing por­trayal of some­one with men­tal health is­sues.

Ini­tially it ap­pears that Co­han is go­ing to be on level peg­ging with Wahlberg but her one-note char­ac­ter is in­creas­ingly side­lined, the ta­lented ac­tress get­ting much more meat to chew on with her role as Mag­gie in The Walk­ing Dead.

John Malkovich (Bishop) adds lit­tle be­yond a dodgy hair-piece and Ronda Rousey (Sam) con­tin­ues to show she’s much more adept at bend­ing bones in a wrestling ring than chanc­ing her arm at this act­ing lark.

For­get Wahlberg, the real star of the show is Uwais. Ever since the stun­ning Raid movies, the In­done­sian has been wait­ing for his big break in Hol­ly­wood.

Hope­fully this is it as his enig­matic pres­ence is a treat to be­hold and he still knows how to throw fists and feet bet­ter than most; wit­ness the crack­ing smack­down in a med­i­cal room.

At one point dur­ing the lat­ter stages Bishop tells Silva to “stop mono­logu­ing” and the ironic thing is this is dur­ing a fun lit­tle face-to-face mo­ment – un­like the nu­mer­ous other ran­dom, sup­pos­edly weighty speeches pep­pered through­out Roland and Car­pen­ter’s script.

The pair earn brownie points, how­ever, with a neat late twist and a sur­pris­ingly bold end­ing that sug­gests we haven’t seen the last of Silva on the big screen.

Hope­fully, if this is the case, it’s more than just the ac­tion scenes that go the dis­tance next time.

It also wouldn’t do Wahlberg and Berg any harm to re­mem­ber to in­ject more heart and charm – and bring Uwais back with them.

Tense time Mark Wahlberg’s Silva feels the heat in Mile 22

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