Mile 22 Preview

Jamie and Patrick argue over the twist ending for their YA novel, The Platonic Solids Series Part 1: Outside the Box. They know they’ve transformed Briggs’ has-been crime novel into a totally lit YA banger for the gucci crowd, but they need the ending to really pop. The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone has been forced to conform due to a rash of deaths caused by kids not conforming. They all live in small, boxy apartments when they turn 18 and they get assigned a job. But Jewel is different. She wants to conform but like… can’t. And when she gets assigned a blank card on job day the government comes for her. Oh no! Leaving her box she finds safety in a small army of revolutionaries just like her… but still totally different. They want her to lead, but she can’t, right? She’s just little ol’ Jewel. And she definitely can’t have two smoking hot dudes totally into her for all the right reasons, right? WRONG, because it turns out she’s got all the right moves! Also one of those dudes is a swamp monster. Anyway, Jamie definitely wants Gregor (the non-swamp monster) to turn out to be the son of the Job Decider thus tearing the revolution apart and bringing home astute points about prejudice and individualism. But Patrick is Team Kelton (the swamp monster) and loves the danger he brings to the story, so he wants Jewel and Kelton to succumb to their desires only for him to lose control and kill Gregor’s sister. Suddenly they look at each other. “Why not both?” And with their twin brain powers combined they finish their masterpiece and set up nicely for a trilogy. “It will be my greatest book yet,” Patrick says with tears in his eyes. Suddenly he turns serious. “Jamie, we must succeed. There are spies everywhere, but we cannot fail in getting this book to my publisher.” Shaking, Jamie asks how far they must get this most valuable asset to safety. That’s right! We’re watching Mile 22 starring America, babbbby. It’s about a bunch of badasses doing badass things… honestly I have no idea what this is about. It seems like just an excuse for Wahlberg to shoot and punch things. I’m in. Let’s go!

Mile 22 (2018) – BMeTric: 27.5

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(Staying steady at 6.1 which isn’t exactly average (for big movies it is decidedly below average), but I consider anything below 6.5 to be borderline. This is boosted by being pretty popular given it was released less than a year ago.)

RogerEbert.com – 2.5 stars –  The action is intercut with shots of Wahlberg in a suit and tie, speaking in a conference room, talking about “chaos” and how none of you know what the word “collusion” really means. It seems that in the aftermath of this mission, Jimmy decided to try and compete with Jordan Peterson’s YouTube videos. No, that’s not it. … Also interesting is that Malkovich is compelled to trot out an old H.L. Mencken quote about raising the black flag and slitting throats, which is also the motto of well-known pseudonymous right-wing blogger. … So the movie often felt to me like “The Gauntlet” as rewritten by a Breitbart News bot. Now I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. But what if I were? I guess I’d hear about it in comments.

(Wait … what the fuck? Did we just stumble into Death Wish 2? I know I shouldn’t be surprised that what amounts to action gun porn might also tend towards right-wing talking points, but what is this reviewer talking about exactly? And he gave it 2.5 out of 4! He basically says: this might dog whistle a bunch of alt-right bullshit, but eh … above average [NOTE: As a note below indicates, the quote is in the book Friday Night Lights, and thus is likely where Peter Berg got it from. Although not a great look to put it in your movie in 2018 IMO]. What is happening? Anyways, hopefully it is just kind of “yeah the show 24 goes out of its way to defend torture and sometimes feels like propaganda but … it is pretty rad.” Or the reviewer is making a joke … it does kind of read like he just hated the film for personally reasons and wants to make his distaste abundantly clear while admitting it is an average film.)

Trailer – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJU6S5KOsNI

(Huh, I think this is just the second Ronda Rousey film we’ve seen for BMT after Expendables 3. But quite the shock to see her in this. I think I’m going to hate this film. Him saying “I get shit done” while being portrayed as a badass psycho makes my skin crawl.)

Directors – Peter Berg – (Known For: Deepwater Horizon; Lone Survivor; Patriots Day; Hancock; Friday Night Lights; The Kingdom; Welcome to the Jungle; Very Bad Things; BMT: Battleship; Mile 22; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Director for Battleship in 2013; Notes: Quite a good track record all things considered. Was actually a pretty big actor back in the day starring in Fire in the Sky and was on Chicago Hope for four years. Still acts, he’s the Dolphins coach in seven episodes of Ballers.)

Writers – Lea Carpenter (screenplay by & story by) – (BMT: Mile 22; Notes: Wrote her first book, Eleven Days, on a dare. Seems like she currently works for the New York Public Library.)

Graham Roland (story by) – (BMT: Mile 22; Notes: Wrote the recent Jack Ryan television series in addition to on other television series like Lost. A former Marine.)

Actors – Mark Wahlberg – (Known For: Instant Family; The Departed; Boogie Nights; Shooter; All the Money in the World; The Other Guys; Ted; Deepwater Horizon; Lone Survivor; The Fighter; Patriots Day; Pain & Gain; 2 Guns; Four Brothers; The Italian Job; Rock Star; Ted 2; Planet of the Apes; The Basketball Diaries; The Gambler; Future BMT: The Truth About Charlie; Daddy’s Home Two; Mojave; Daddy’s Home; Broken City; Fear; Renaissance Man; Entourage; The Lovely Bones; BMT: The Happening; Transformers: The Last Knight; Max Payne; Transformers: Age of Extinction; Mile 22; Razzie Notes: Nominee for Worst Actor in 2009 for Max Payne, and The Happening; and in 2018 for Daddy’s Home Two, and Transformers: The Last Knight; Notes: A subtle BMT all-star. Marky Mark back in the day, Entourage is somewhat based on his life moving to LA and becoming a mega-star. Ridiculously successful person.)

Lauren Cohan – (Known For: Casanova; Future BMT: Van Wilder 2: The Rise of Taj; All Eyez on Me; The Boy; Collection; Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice; BMT: Mile 22; Notes: Probably most well known for The Walking Dead where she appeared in 113 episodes. Was born in New Jersey, but lived in England most of her life and has a British accent.)

Iko Uwais – (Known For: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens; The Night Comes for Us; The Raid; Beyond Skyline; Serbuan maut 2: Berandal; Headshot; Man of Tai Chi; BMT: Mile 22; Notes: Star of The Raid, he maybe played pro soccer in Jakarta … it is hard to tell whether he was a professional or not.)

Budget/Gross – $35–60 million / Domestic: $36,108,758 (Worldwide: $66,308,758)

(Very not good. Looking through his recent box office performances the big ones tend to be either comedies like Daddy’s Home, or Transformers films, so I imagine there will come a time where Wahlberg features will cease to be. Unless he turns out another hit in the next few years)

Rotten Tomatoes – 23% (39/168): 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.

(No. Not thrill deficient! Anything but that. I want it to actually be just too much thrills. 0%: Too much thrills, I was too thrilled, I hated it. That would be the perfect score. The reviewers seem to agree it is super confusing which might be fun. Reviewer Highlight: …gruesome, action-packed, explosion-filled and [a] convoluted mess… – Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

Poster – Pixel Art: The Movie (B)

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(I wish it wasn’t so drab, but it gives me a lot of what I want. Stylized font, overall balance and feng shui, and telling me what it’s all about (Wahlberg with a gun). I just need more of that red to pull it all together.)

Tagline(s) – Option 1: Diplomacy. Option 2: Military. Meet Option 3. (C+)

(Wow. That really doesn’t flow at all. You can see why they wanted to make it work, pretty well sums up the film in a clever way, but it doesn’t sound right in my brain. I think all the words don’t match correctly with what they are trying to say. Like shouldn’t it be diplomacy vs. war or force… not military? Also is “option” even the right word? Kinda implies that they are all on the table at once rather than attempted in succession. Finally the word “meet” sounds a little cute for a lethal military force… Everything is right about this tagline in the worst possible way.)

Keyword(s) – hand grenade; Top Ten by BMeTric: 91.9 Son of the Mask (2005); 90.3 Alone in the Dark (2005); 89.6 Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997); 88.8 House of the Dead (2003); 87.8 Street Fighter (1994); 84.9 Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011); 84.4 Movie 43 (2013); 82.6 Barb Wire (1996); 73.3 Far Cry (2008); 71.0 The Spirit (2008);

(Son of Mask has a hand grenade in it? … Cool I guess. The rest of these films are garbage except for maybe The Spirit which I’ve seen part of and is honestly one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. We have to do that one at some point, it is so bad.)

Notes – On March 28, 2017 at CinemaCon, Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg announced that they were planning Mile 22 (2018) to become a trilogy, describing “an action franchise at STX Entertainment.” (I imagine that isn’t happening anymore. It didn’t do as well as it needed to do I don’t think)

On February 5, 2018, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos showed up during filming in one of the locations in Colombia. Director Peter Berg even had President Santos try to shoot one of the action sequence of the film.

Mark Wahlberg’s character stated, “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” The quote is attributable to English author George Orwell.

The script was written with Mark Wahlberg in mind. (It is Peter Berg after all)

During Dougie’s last stand, Bishop quotes “A Man Must Sometimes Spit On His Hands, Raise The Black Flag, And Begin Slicing Throats”. This is from the 1990 book Friday Night Lights by HG Bissinger, which Peter Berg adapted into the 2004 film and 2006 TV series. The quote, from Mencken’s 1919 Prejudices (First Series), is in full: “Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.” (Oh … Why is the Roger Ebert reviewer concerned about this then? If it is directly from a previously-adapted book-to-film by Berg?)

At approximately 24 min, a shot shows “Moscow, Russia” and a view of an airport. The latitude/longitude indicated are roughly that of the Kremlin. The presumably Russian airfield is actually Long Beach Airport (LGB) There are 3 C-17s in the center of the shot and 2 JetBlue A320/A321 aircraft in the upper right. In the upper left is the moored Farmers Insurance airship. The airship, with an actual name of Eureka, was operated by Airship Ventures, which shut down in 2012. The airship was disassembled and returned to the manufacturer shortly thereafter. This suggests that the shot is stock footage from 2008 – 2012, depending on when Farmers was using the particular livery on the airship in the scene (there were several). Lastly, the footage runs in reverse (note the direction the vehicles are driving) to make the shot pan back rather than forward. (Holy shit. Facts!)

Some of the sentences heard from the screams of the antagonists are in Bahasa Indonesian, a national language of Indonesian Republic. The movie setting is “Indokarr,” a fictional analog of Indonesia. (Wait … it is set in a fictional country … but why?)

The film was pushed back two weeks from its original release date of August 3, 2018 to August 17, 2018. (That isn’t being pushed back. That is tactically moving your movie out of the path of other films I would think. Either trying to get on the other side of The Meg, or clearing out of The Spy Who Dumped Me which could be thought of as having a similar spy theme)

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