Remember “Mile 22,” the action-packed film starring Mark Wahlberg that received mixed reviews and had a lukewarm reception at the box office? Well, it turns out that this very movie has found an ironic twist of fate as it becomes one of Netflix’s most-watched films. Let’s delve into the unexpected success and intriguing elements of “Mile 22,” exploring how it resonates with the streaming platform’s audience.
The Oddly Memorable Moment
One of the most peculiar and memorable moments of “Mile 22” occurs towards the end of the film. It involves a line that references a comedic catchphrase from a Saturday Night Live sketch where Mark Wahlberg humorously talks to animals. This unexpected inclusion left critics and audiences baffled, as it seemed out of place in the otherwise serious and action-packed thriller. Nonetheless, it adds an intriguing layer of curiosity to the film.
A Confusing Plot Structure
“Mile 22” suffers from a puzzling plot structure, which might have contributed to its mixed reviews. The film’s convoluted spy craft and framing device make the simple story of U.S. government black ops agents escorting a dangerous defector needlessly complex. However, amidst the confusion, the movie manages to showcase solid action direction, thanks to the talent behind the camera, known for films like “Patriots Day,” “Hancock,” “The Kingdom,” and “Friday Night Lights.”
Character Depth and Human Touches
Despite its narrative complexities, “Mile 22” offers character depth and human touches, giving the audience a chance to connect with the cast. Mark Wahlberg’s portrayal of the group leader as an on-the-spectrum, cranky leader adds a unique dimension to his character. Additionally, the conflict de-escalation devices used by Lauren Cohan’s character during interactions with her ex add an interesting layer of realism and emotion.
Netflix’s Unlikely Gem
Unexpectedly, “Mile 22” has found renewed popularity on Netflix, becoming one of the streaming giant’s most-watched movies. The film’s star-driven Hollywood appeal, coupled with its action-packed sequences, appeals to audiences who might have initially overlooked it in theaters. Interestingly, its newfound success can be attributed to its resemblance to two of Netflix’s other hit original movies from 2020, “Extraction” and “Spenser Confidential.”
The “Extraction” and “Spenser Confidential” Connection
“Mile 22” shares similarities with “Extraction” and “Spenser Confidential,” making it a perfect amalgamation of these popular Netflix films. Like “Extraction,” it features an action hero, played by Mark Wahlberg, wreaking havoc on foreign soil. On the other hand, it aligns with “Spenser Confidential” in its focus on a star vehicle directed by Peter Berg, resulting in a thrilling action experience.
Balancing Action and Politics
Both “Mile 22” and “Extraction” attempt to balance high-octane action with subtle political undertones. “Mile 22” incorporates meaningful conversations between characters about their destinies, steering clear of jingoistic sentiments. Similarly, “Spenser Confidential” delivers a light and action-packed experience, emphasizing fisticuffs over excessive violence, making it perfect for casual viewing.
A Fresh Start on Netflix
As “Mile 22” makes its mark on Netflix, it challenges the streaming platform’s conventions by presenting a movie that demands rigorous attention. However, it cleverly ensures that viewers are up to speed with a well-placed expositional monologue by John Malkovich midway through the film. Though “Mile 22” might not have been celebrated two years ago, its current success on Netflix proves that it has found its audience and solidifies its position as a compelling action thriller in the streaming landscape.
The unexpected resurgence of “Mile 22” on Netflix showcases the unpredictable nature of the film industry. While it initially faced challenges in theaters, the movie has found a new life on the streaming platform, capturing the attention of audiences worldwide. Its unique blend of action, star power, and political undertones has struck a chord with viewers, solidifying “Mile 22” as a captivating addition to Netflix’s action movie catalog.