Say hello to your mother for me.
BQB here with a review of “Mile 22.”
I’ve been watching Mark Wahlberg’s acting career since the 1990s and inevitably, he always plays that same charming South Boston tough guy in every film – literally every film from serious roles in “The Departed” to silly throwaway stuff like “The Transformers.”
Here, he tried something different and made an effort to become someone else. I’m not sure he achieved it or if he just came across as MW trying really hard to be someone else but at least he tried.
In this movie, Mark plays James Silva a clandestine special agent who is…well, I don’t know if we find out what exactly his problem is. He’s hyperactive, highly intelligent, he might have some kind of personality disorder but at any rate, he’s brilliant when it comes to strategy but on a personal level, he’s a dick. He speaks rapidly, blurting out facts and stats a mile a minute, bogging his subordinates down with info and orders and lacks diplomacy, insulting and berating them into submission.
I almost wanted to call it “Rain Man Meets Homeland” except Carrie was never this mean or testosterone fueled, and he is more functional than Dustin Hoffman’s character.
The plot? A foreign government agent comes to an American embassy with information on where a weapon of mass destruction is located. The catch – he’ll only tell if he is allowed to defect to America and freedom. Thus, Mark and his elite special ops unit must fight their way through 22 miles of mayhem to get the operative to safety and away from the various baddies trying to kill him.
This movie is Lauren Cohan’s (she of “The Walking Dead” fame”) big break to shine on the silver screen. Though she has had others, this is probably the most memorable. She plays Wahlberg’s number two, an agent struggling between her desire to do what she does best (fight international baddies) and what she wants to do (i.e. be a mom.)
Her husband, seen through various Facetime chats, is portrayed as a Dick Cheeseburger for moving on with his life and marrying another woman who takes an active role in step-mothering their daughter while Alice is traveling the world on one mission or another.
Cohan acts the crap out of this and you feel her pain so I’m not knocking her, but it just seems like there’s an ongoing film industry double standard. If a male character chooses work over family, he’s usually portrayed as a dick and the woman who dumps him and moves on is a hero. On the other hand, if the man gets tired of being alone and finds someone who will be there for him, he’s made out to be a total Turd McMuffin.
SIDENOTE: I think at some point we, men and women, were sold on this sham that we can “have it all.” Marriage. Kids. Family. High level career. A rare handful of people make that happen and they are usually the lucky ones who find that special supportive someone willing to be alone, sometimes months at a time for the greater good. Most can’t make it happen and inevitably, time is in short supply and we all must choose between career and family.
Back to the action, Ronda Rousey rounds out the cast as MW’s number three agent and I’m going to assume that it’s because action movie fans love RR and not because it’s 2018 and that means for every male character taking charge, there must be two females taking charge – a ratio of 2 vags for every 1 peen, as it were.
Overall, the movie mimics MW’s character’s style – it moves fast, very fast, sometimes too fast. You barely have a second to breathe, eat popcorn, or pick your nose. Blink and you might miss something.
STATUS: Shelf-worthy but it’s more character driven than plot driven. There are a lot of fancy, pretentious lines thrown out suggesting that the writers are like, “Hey we watch cable news and we worked in some buzz words we heard so that makes us smart and witty.” At any rate, it’s a good movie but I think it might have worked better as an HBO series as the film quickly sets up the characters, how their special ops unit operates, and from there, they could face a new threat each week. Oh well, maybe now that I put that idea out into the Cosmos, HBO might pick it up.
Plus, there is a message how war has changed, how it’s more often ops working behind the scenes rather than uniform wearing soldiers meeting on the field of battle. The rules of warfare we once knew are over and it’s every man and/or woman for him/herself.
DOUBLE SIDNOTE: Ladies, I love you. It’s not that I don’t want you to pick up guns and shoot bad guys it’s just that…eh, I wish you didn’t want to. I get that you felt left out for many years and men got to do things you wanted to do but men weren’t right about everything and I don’t know, maybe I’m a sexist pig but seeing Lauren and Ronda fight bad guys like barroom brawlers, getting all messed up and bloody and battered and so on…I don’t know. I’m not telling women they have to get back in the kitchen but not everything men traditionally did is something to aspire to and violence isn’t one of them.
That isn’t to say Lauren and Ronda aren’t fun to watch on screen doing their thing but just, you know. OK, I’ll shut up now.
Sheesh. It’s a good thing only 3.5 people read this blog or else I’d get a lot of angry letters.