‘Mile 22’ Loads Up Brutal Action Vehicle That Misses The Mark

Fortunately, the “package” they’re ferrying across that dangerous commute is played by Indonesian actor and martial-arts choreographer Iko Uwais (best known for “The Raid” movies), who turns out to be more than capable of protecting himself. In fact, Uwais’ action sequences — fast paced and electric — are easily the highlight of a movie otherwise characterized by an abundance of automatic-weapons fire and tedious dialogue during the fleeting gaps between those bursts.
Not surprisingly, the performances tend to get lost amid the mayhem — the point here is style, not substance — although Wahlberg talks in such rapid-fire, staccato fashion, he appears to be auditioning for a “West Wing” reboot. Similarly, his banter with Cohan resembles “Moonlighting,” only with F-bombs. And while Russian intelligence plays a prominent role in the plot, the movie is too much of a first-person shooter game to offer any real-world significance.
The operatives here (among them UFC fighter Ronda Rousey) are engaged in “dark work,” we’re told, tasked with the thankless job to “prevent the end of tomorrow.” If diplomacy and the military are the government’s first two options, Overwatch is described as “Option 3.”
That’s a pretty good line for a billboard, and a durable template for action thrillers. But except for those craving a late-summer shoot ’em up, “Option 4” would be to skip past “Mile 22” — or maybe just wait until it makes the short trip to cable.
“Mile 22” premieres Aug. 17 in the U.S. It’s rated R.

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