Monday, December 10, 2018

Mile 22 Blu-ray Review

Reviewed by Jami Ferguson
Director Peter Berg’s Mile 22 is now available to own on DVD, Blu-ray and digital copy. The film follows an elite CIA unit tasked with taking a prisoner from point A to point B. The 22-mile journey is full of unexpected and deadly surprises. The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan and John Malkovich.

Film (3 out of 5 stars)
James Silva (Mark Walberg) leads a covert CIA unit.  When the fate of the free world is at risk, this unit takes on special missions. The team resigns their CIA posts and heads out to get the job done.  The current mission requires them to keep an asset (Iko Uwais) alive for a 22 mile journey to an airfield where extraction awaits. When Overwatch is put into effect, John Malkovich and a few key individuals guide the team along their journey. Overwatch protocols seem to dictate that every angle is covered, and every possible outcome is explored as they lead the ground team toward their goal.  Even Overwatch cannot see everything and the 22-mile journey is harder and longer than anyone expected.

Director Peter Berg delivers an action-packed film. Fighter Rhonda Rousey and Walking Dead’s Lauren Cohan are two members of the team and they both are believable as some very tough women.  The casting of John Malkovich as the Overwatch leader is perfect, and I’m not sure that Malkovich doesn’t head up some covert CIA unit in his spare time.  Malkovich has that creepy vibe that always keeps you wondering if he is about to turn to the dark side. It was said that this film is Mark Wahlberg’s best action movie and that might be true. I don’t happen to be a big fan of Wahlberg.  Something about his speech patterns always bother me and I let it take me out of the action. Even though the film was lead by my least favorite Wahlberg (I prefer his brother Donnie’s acting), I did enjoy the movie. The asset at the center of all the drama is played by Iko Uwais, who is a stunt choreographer. That makes for a pretty cool close quarters fight scene.

The film might be Wahlberg’s best, but it’s certainly not Peter Berg’s best. It’s a violent action film that’s angry the whole way through. You really have to be up for the shaky cam work and heavy body count. For me, this is probably the kind of movie I won’t watch again because the story wasn’t intriguing enough to keep me interested. It feels more about if the team will survive and less about the consequences. If the team fails then a dangerous chemical will be released but you lose that in all the shooting.
Video (4 out of 5 stars)
Mile 22 is not available in 4K at this time, and the Blu-ray isn’t perfect. In lower light, there is visible noise.  However, the rest of the time, things look pretty good. The blood and sweat that’s shed during the Mile 22 journey is realistic. Skin imperfections can be easily seen and textures are noteworthy as they travel through streets and into occupied buildings. The color palette shows a wide range and both smoke and fire are conveyed with authenticity. Black levels are strong.
Audio (4 out of 5 stars)
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack can support all the gunfire and explosions this film throws at it.  All speaker channels are put to good use throughout the film.  The layered audio effects work together and dialogue is intelligible in all scenes.
Extras (2 1/2 out of 5 stars)
The Blu-ray includes the following list of extras, which is simply much less than I expected.
  • Overwatch  (1:36) – Follow the Overwatch para-military division as cast and crew discuss the unit, background and inspiration. 
  • Introducing Iko (1:48) – A look at action star and fight choreographer Iko Uwais and his contributions to the film.
  • Iko Fight (1:47) – Iko Uwais discusses his fight scenes.
  • Bad Ass Women (1:44) – Writer Lea Carpenter, and actresses Lauren Cohan and Rhonda Rousey look at the film’s female characters.
  • BTS Stunts (1:56) – A behind the scenes look at the realistic action and stunts.
  • Modern Combat (1:56) - This featurette explores practical effects, real time shooting and the cinematography of the action.
  • Colombia (3:45) – Cast and filmmakers discuss shooting in Bogota.
  • Trailers
Summary (3 1/2 out of 5 stars)
Mile 22 was a good action flick. I expected that the extras would be better than the movie but found only very brief featurettes. Iko Uwais has an extremely intense fight scene and I was ready to watch hours on how that came to be. While it’s touched on, his two extras total less than four minutes.  Instead of the scenes with Wahlberg sitting in safety explaining the failures of his mission, they could have used that time to better develop the story. It’s not a great action film but it was well worth the time for at least a single viewing. I don’t know that I’ll ever make my way back to this one, with so many other things to watch, but I’m glad I saw it. Recommended for the person who likes to see bullets fly.

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