Ever wondered what it would look like if you strapped a camera on the back of a wild hyena and set him loose? Look no further than “Mile 22,” a jittery mess of mayhem from shaky cam-loving director Peter Berg. Berg has made a big budget action thriller that reads like a pamphlet on what not to do when you make a movie.
It’s not just the performances (from Mark Wahlberg, Ronda Rousey, Iko Uwais, and John Malkovich), the bloody gun violence, or even the basic story that leave little to enjoy — it’s the poor craftsmanship that really sinks this one. The editing looks like it was done by an angry rhinoceros, with choppy, back and forth jumps that made me dizzy. The film is edited into a tornado of incomprehensibility. Why have exciting fights and action sequences when it’s so shaky that audiences can’t tell what the hell is going on?
Not helping matters is the blurry cinematography, a reliance on huge explosions to stand in for actual compelling material, and an idiocy that appears to have been nourished by an endless supply of Red Bull with a double shot of testosterone. This popcorn movie could’ve been an intense and entertaining slam dunk but instead, it left me with an unpleasant feeling with its “yay, America!” stance, which in itself is based on very dated elements of what makes an American patriot.
Featuring a roster of some of the most unpleasant characters, the film gives us little to root for. Wahlberg yells a lot and is a total jerk, and the supporting cast doesn’t do much to advance the plot. Rousey’s sole job here is to stomp around with a machine gun and scowl. There’s no happy ending in sight either, and the payoff is a lousy disappointment.
This movie is incoherent, erratic, aggressive, sloppy, and brutal. I felt gross as I walked out of the theater.