“Mile 22” is the fourth collaboration between Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg. The other movies were based on a true story, and this is the first that is fictional. But the concept was done before. Think “The Gauntlet”, with Clint Eastwood. And then again see “16 Blocks” with Bruce Willis. The basic plot of somebody needing to get someone else to a particular place is not exactly new. Dressing it up as a secret undercover operation is new, and adding about ten layers of double-cross is somewhat new.
Wahlberg plays a character that is very unlikable, and he commands a tight unit. They are supposed to be the most elite unit. But for this operation, they look like a bunch of buffoons. The movie goes into depth about how special this team is, and how important they are. But what is shown is an orgy of automatic weapons and a whole slew of stupid decisions.
The writing is bi-polar, giving Wahlberg little mini-speeches where his character goes off on vulgar tangents. The overall twist in the plot has way too many holes. The editing and frantic pace gets you feeling very jittery after a while. You never get a clear understanding of the progress to the goal. Have they gone 10 miles, or 15 miles? Who can tell? Plus the actual action of the journey to the airport does not begin until the last third of the movie.
Peter Berg has worked with Mark Wahlberg on other, much better projects. “Lone Survivor”, “Deepwater Horizon” and “Patriot’s Day” are very excellent movies. But now they have teamed up for this one, which you might like, or you might not. With “Mile 22”, your mileage may vary.