‘Mile 22’ is action-heavy, lacks a compelling script

This cover image released by STXfilms shows Mark Wahlberg in a scene from "Mile 22." (STXfilms via AP)

The road that “Mile 22” took was quite bumpy. It’s as if it took a wrong turn and didn’t know where it was heading.

Peter Berg’s latest film garnered high hopes after his last three hits. Unexpectedly, fans got a confused, average action movie.

James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) is the head of a lethal CIA tactical command unit that is looking for a dangerous powder that is to produce massive bombs. A mysterious intelligence, Li Noor (Iko Uwais) confronts the CIA, promising to release the location of the powder in exchange for his extraction out of Southeast Asia. Silva and his team must escort the asset 22 miles to deliver him to the airfield. The mission becomes complicated when the locals want Noor dead at all cost.

Peter Berg’s past three films, “Lone Survivor,” “Deepwater Horizon” and “Patriot’s Day” were all praised for their gritty, true stories with gripping action. The director turns away from his staple style, while making some iffy choices.

One of the most annoying of these decisions was his choice of incorporating shaky cam into the action scenes. It was so difficult to tell what was going on that it really took a toll on the movie. Berg knows how to make an action film; however, I find it puzzling as to why he returned to this unpopular style.

This could have been a great film if it hadn’t been tailored toward setting up a sequel. “Mile 22” mostly struggled with its script. The movie had such little story that it felt like an unfinished idea; as a result, the film had to be filled with constant action. There was a beginning, then an almost hour-long action sequence, which was concluded with a rushed ending.

The small amount of time spent on the characters seemed ridiculous if this film was trying to start a franchise. Who would want a sequel if they didn’t care about anyone in the first film? I sure wouldn’t.

What makes up for a few of the many flaws are the intense fight scenes with Li Noor. The martial artist was great in the creative yet gory brawls. The real head-turner was when he fought two assassins while handcuffed to a hospital bed. As for the rest of the film, the action was occasionally entertaining, but overall lackluster.

“Mile 22” shows what can happen when a studio is more concerned over profit than filmmaking. In trying so desperately to jumpstart a new action series, they found a way to dig themselves in a hole. They dug a hole so deep that I think they might need a 22 mile rope to get out.