Great action movie explores high-tech black ops
Review by Rob Knowles
Mile 22, with Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais and John Malkovich, directed by Peter Berg.
Action-packed and hard-hitting, Mile 22 is a must-see movie about the clandestine operations of governments and their agencies in eliminating their perceived enemies using today’s hi-tech communications networks.
James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) is an operative engaged in secret (black-ops) missions for a little-known department, Overwatch, within the CIA.
The story begins when a couple who appear to be lost, stop their vehicle outside a house to ask if they are in the right place. In the meantime, through the use of satellite footage, infrared sensors and a host of other technological tools, Overwatch is monitoring proceedings. Overwatch aims to stop the Russian FSB (Russian federal security services) agents inside from creating dirty bombs with a quantity of stolen radioactive caesium. The fighting is intense but Overwatch manages to curtail the Russians’ plan, but the caesium is still missing.
The scene then moves to 18 months later when Indonesian police officer Li Noor (Iko Uwais) surrenders himself at the US embassy in a teeming Indonesian metropolis. He gives the CIA a disk-drive in which, he claims, the location of the caesium can be found. Unfortunately for Overwatch the disk is slowly initialising itself, but Noor says he will give the Americans the password in exchange for free passage to the USA. Noor is agent Alice Kerr’s (Lauren Cohan) asset and surprises everyone with his fighting skills when enemy agents are sent to kill him.
With a full team behind him, Silva attempts to take Noor to the airport just 22 miles away, but is prevented from doing so by Indonesian special ops led by Axel (Sam Medina). The main theme of the story is that the caesium must be found, but there are other issues going on at the same time, including with agent Kerr and her young daughter whom her ex-husband is making it difficult for her to visit.
But, in this world of hi-tech espionage, there is no time for distraction and the operation continues.
With explosions, hand-to-hand combat as well as gunfights galore, the movie proceeds at quite a pace. The action is seen directly as well as through satellite footage.
This is a movie any action fan will enjoy. Berg has not overly relied on special effects and uses as much live action as possible. Wahlberg is perf
ectly suited to the role and Cohan (best known for her role as Maggie in The Walking Dead) plays a good foil to him at Overwatch. There are plenty of other good actors in the mix including John Malkovich as Bishop, Terry Kinney as Johnny Porter and a lot more besides.
Be warned, the violence is graphic.