Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Berg|
|Screenplay by||Lea Carpenter|
|Music by||Jeff Russo|
|Distributed by||STX Films|
|Box office||$66.3 million|
Mile 22 is a 2018 American espionage action thriller film directed by Peter Berg and written by Lea Carpenter, from a story by Carpenter and Graham Roland. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, and Ronda Rousey. It follows an elite CIA task force composed of paramilitary officers from Ground Branch of Special Activities Division, that has to escort a high-priority asset 22 miles to an extraction point while being hunted by the government. The film marks the fourth collaboration between Berg and Wahlberg, following Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon, and Patriots Day.
The film was released in the United States on August 17, 2018, and grossed $66 million worldwide. It received generally unfavorable reviews from critics, who called it "confusing and a chaotic mess," alongside criticizing the cinematography in the action sequences, although the performance of Uwais received praise.
CIA agent and former U.S. Marine war veteran, James Silva, leads a Special Activities Division team code-named Overwatch to raid a Russian FSB safe house in the United States. Under the remote supervision of James Bishop and his team, the mission is to locate and destroy shipments of caesium before the highly radioactive substance can be weaponized. In the ensuing firefight, most of the Russians and Overwatch operative Greg Vickers are killed, but critical intelligence on the caesium is destroyed. Silva executes the last survivor, a teenager who warns him that he is making a mistake.
Sixteen months later, in the Southeast Asian country of Indocarr, police officer Li Noor surrenders himself at the US Embassy to negotiate for passage out of the country in exchange for information. Noor is revealed to be the asset of Overwatch agent Alice Kerr and reveals he possesses a disc containing information on the caesium, and is able to negotiate passage out of the country in exchange for unlocking the disc, which is programmed to self destruct within eight hours. Ambassador Dorothy Brady is visited by the country's Deputy Foreign Minister and state intelligence agent Axel, with the two demanding that Noor be handed over as he is wanted for espionage. Meanwhile, Noor fends off an assassination attempt by disguised government agents in the embassy infirmary using his skills as a former member of the elite tactical squad.
Wanting access to the intel, Silva's team is instructed to take Noor to an airplane at an airstrip 22 miles away, being provided with remote assistance from Bishop's team in Colombia. En route they are attacked by a group of men on motorcycles, who use a brief camera blackout to plant a bomb on one of the vehicles. During the ensuing gunfight, operative Sam Snow is mortally injured, and sacrifices herself to buy the group time. Taking cover in a restaurant, they are again attacked by Axel's men, in which Silva is saved by Noor and operative William “Dougie” Douglas is seriously injured. The group retreats into an apartment complex, and Douglas sacrifices himself by putting down cover fire. Inside the building, Alice becomes separated from Silva and Noor, but is able escape harm by using booby-trapped grenades and is later saved by Noor. Axel attempts to stop their car from reaching the airstrip, but is killed by Bishop's team via a drone strike. Arriving just before the plane takes off, Noor and Alice board the aircraft, with Alice having been given time off to see her estranged daughter. Noor provides Overwatch with the passcode to access the disk, with the intel appearing to be legitimate locations of the caesium.
Noticing that the password "rozhdestvo111" matches the address of the FSB safehouse at the start of the film which was Christmas 111, Bishop comes to the conclusion Noor has betrayed them, and is actually acting as a triple agent for the Russian government. The entire mission is revealed to have been compromised, with a team on board a Beriev A-50, led by Senior Lieutenant Aleksander Aslanov, having breached the CIA's secure communications and caused the earlier blackout. The teenager Silva killed at the safehouse is shown to be Anatole Kuragin, the son of high ranking government official Vera Kuragina, who ordered the operation and sought personal revenge against the group. She hired Noor to give Alice the wrong information so they would trust him and activate Overwatch. As Alice realizes Noor's true intentions, he disarms a guard and breaches the cockpit, leaving her fate uncertain. The team in Colombia, having been traced by the Russians, are gunned down, with a critically injured Bishop barely escaping. Having been unable to stop what occurred, Silva tells of his experience during a post-mission debriefing. Returning to his apartment, he puts up a picture of Noor on his wall, vowing revenge.
- Mark Wahlberg as James Silva / "Child 1"
- Iko Uwais as Li Noor
- John Malkovich as James Bishop / "Mother"
- Lauren Cohan as Alice Kerr / "Child 2"
- Ronda Rousey as Samantha "Sam" Snow / "Child 3"
- Nikolai Nikolaeff as Senior Lieutenant Aleksander Aslanov
- Carlo Alban as William "Dougie" Douglas III/ "Child 4"
- Terry Kinney as Johnny Porter
- Poorna Jagannathan as Ambassador Dorothy Brady
- Sam Medina as Axel
- Natasha Goubskaya as Vera Kuragina
- David Garelik as Anatole Kuragin
- Alexandra Vino as Sergeant Thomas
- Cedric Gervais as Greg Vickers / "Child 5"
- Chae Rin Lee as Queen
- Emily Skeggs as M.I.T.
- Peter Berg as Lucas
On March 2, 2015, it was announced that Ronda Rousey and Iko Uwais were set to star in the action-thriller film Mile 22 scripted by Graham Roland, with Peter Berg attached as producer. WME Global was in talks to finance the film. On July 2, 2015, Mark Wahlberg was cast in the film to play the male lead role, while Berg was also confirmed to direct the film for STX Entertainment. Berg would also produce the film along with Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson. On March 28, 2017, Wahlberg and Berg announced that they are moving ahead with Mile 22 as a trilogy of films. On November 7, 2017, Lauren Cohan was cast in the film.
Principal photography on the film was shot in Atlanta, Georgia in November and December 2017 under the working title Ground Branch, and in Colombia in the capital city Bogotá and its surroundings in January and February 2018. On February 5, 2018, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos showed up during filming at one of the locations in Colombia. Director Peter Berg even had President Santos try to shoot one of the action sequences of the film.
The final trailer was released online on July 26, 2018. The film was originally going to be released on August 3, 2018 but was pushed back two weeks to August 17, 2018.
In the United States and Canada, Mile 22 was released alongside Crazy Rich Asians and Alpha, and was projected to gross around $17 million from 3,520 theaters in its opening weekend. It made $5.3 million on its first day, including $1 million from Thursday night previews at 2,600 theaters. It went on to debut to $13.6 million, finishing third at the box office. In its second weekend the film dropped to sixth place, making $6 million.
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 23% based on 169 reviews, with an average rating of 4.1/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Mile 22 lets the bullets fly—and not much else—in a thrill-deficient action thriller whose title proves sadly fitting for a film that feels close to a marathon endurance test." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, the film has a weighted average score of 39 out of 100, based on 32 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it a 63% positive score.
The performance of Uwais received some praise. Katie Walsh of the Los Angeles Times said, "As a performer and fight choreographer, Uwais delivers, with some extremely athletic and imaginative kills, mostly performed while handcuffed. It's also far and away Uwais's best acting performance in a film, and he almost makes Mile 22 worth it." Brian Lowry of CNN stated, "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." David Fear of Rolling Stone gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, criticizing the editing of the fight scenes and stating, "Why go through the trouble of giving Iko Uwais several fight scenes and editing them so that you can barely see the star inflict highly choreographed damage?...Mile 22 can give you chase scenes and bullet-ridden shoot-outs and evil Russians and lengthy diatribes. It can give you something approximating action. What it can't give you is a watchable action movie. That's where it truly fails to go the distance."
Mile 22 is intended to be a starting point to a multi-media series
After its release, STX Digital announced that they will produce a short-term live-action series called The Kiev Exchange. The series will follow the CIA's elusive paramilitary force, Ground Branch, as they negotiate a tense and complex hostage exchange in a public square. Berg will return to direct, and it will be written by Umair Aleem, with the film's producers returning to produce the series, which is expected to be released sometime in 2018.
There are also plans for a sequel in the early stages of development.
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