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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

The Mother of All Battles

Mile 22 (2018) on IMDb

Plot Overview

A car cruises a suburban neighborhood, Russia on the radio news. The couple in it is looking to visit the Larkin home for the first time. “I don't think this is it,” says the man who was looking for a white house but this one is blue. “Just ask,” sensibly replies the woman. They walk up to the door carrying some flowers and debating whether it were on Christmas Circle or Christmas Street.

Meanwhile a backyard sniper James “Jimmy” Silva (Mark Wahlberg) has his scope trained on the scene. “I got eyes inside,” radios their handler John “Mother” Bishop (John Malkovich.) The agents breach the house and neutralize its five occupants who'd shown up on infrared. They raid two computers, four racks, and a safe but fail to find what they were after. Belatedly, their sensors pick up a simulacrum (“faint heat signature, second floor, south­west corner”), leading to gunfire and casualty. “Mother” back at base monitors the vitals of all her “children”. They exfiltrate the scene before the police arrive.

Jimmy growing up was “not like other kids.” He was quick but high strung. He became an orphan at eleven. Eventually, he was recruited by the CIA and then picked up by the even more secretive Overwatch, a deniable branch. Sixteen months after the Xmas break-in, now stationed in Indocarr City, south­east Asia, their team is still trying to find the WMD Cs 139, a.k.a. fear powder. A reliable informant of Jimmy's protégée Alice Kerr (Lauren Cohan), a native police officer Li Noor (Iko Uwais), will exchange its location(s) for asylum within the U.S.; he'll give them the critical info once he's aboard the plane. It's twenty two miles from the embassy to the landing site. They have a team to take him there through much opposition


The disparate elements of this story interlock in such a way as to make a coherent whole once one connects the dots. The command center sports bobble­heads of past and present U.S. Presidents. Repeated shots of these dolls front and center prepare us to think presidential. The one wearing a “Make America Great Again” base­ball cap is set next to one of Obama. That and separate archival foot­age of these two presidents move our focus to them. What have they got in common?

The opening sequence of a protracted debate over where the couple's destination was, on Christmas Circle or Christmas Street, or Lane or Alley, reminds us of the “birther” argument: was Obama born in Hawaii or Kenya, or where? The mini-census of how many occupants of the “Larkin house” were there (“That's five”) later modified to include one more (“Looks like you were a little light on your count”) reminds us of the U.S. Constitution that set a dead­line after which an elected president must be a native born U.S. citizen. The first few were grand­fathered in. Then Obama got added, as well. The founders had wanted to distance the U.S. from subtle foreign influences. Does that share any­thing with Trump? In fact at Silva's debriefing, he does mention threats to our democracy: “election hacking” and “Russian collusion.”

birthday partyAlice was conflicted about missing her little girl's birthday party in order to participate in the mile 22 op, and that at a time when she was going through a contentious divorce with custody issues in dispute. Then after a furious fire­fight at the Paradise Apartment Complex, she is down to confronting one last bad guy, but she's out of ammo. There is an interesting saying, (Prov. 17:12) “Let a bear robbed of her whelps meet a man, rather than a fool in his folly.” She is a mother. She had to give up her birthday visit with her daughter—and perhaps other custody privileges, as well—on account of this operation, on account of this bad guy. She fights him tooth and nail! It was awe­some to behold. What's worse, according to the proverb, is to encounter a “fool in his folly.”

the postmanThere's a kind of hacking called “social engineering.” Let's take a history lesson from a previous election on social engineering snail mail, courtesy of Paul S. Boyer et al: (697)

The Election of 1888

In one of the campaign's “dirty tricks,” a California Republican leader, pretending to be a British-born naturalized citizen named Charles Murchison, wrote to the British ambassador to ask how he should vote. The ambassador fell into the trap and advised “Murchison” to vote for Cleveland. Capitalizing on the anti-British feeling then prevalent in the United States, the Republicans gleefully publicized the “Murchison letter” as a shocking attempt by a foreign power to meddle in an American election.

Despite such Republican chicanery, Cleveland received almost one hundred thousand more votes than Harrison. But Harrison carried the key states of Indiana and New York and thus won the electoral college. The Republicans held the Senate and regained the House. Harrison piously told his campaign chair­man, Matthew Quay, that Providence had helped the Republican cause. “Providence hadn't a damn thing to do with it,” Quay snorted; Harrison would never know “how close a number of men … approach[ed] the gates of the penitentiary to make him president.”

In “Mile 22” the agents are interrupted at the embassy by a woman without an appointment. Silva generously offers, “I'll take the walk-in.” It's a middle-aged, dapper woman complaining that her assets are about to be seized, which she can't tolerate because she's a billionairess. She can't allow her­self to become destitute. And she claims that she's friends with Jimmy Buffett.

Silva is shameless in the rag he dishes out. He says Jimmy Buffett has Gaulicized his name to Jimmy Bouffée, and now he resides in France. Silva gives her “Jimmy Bouffée's” personal phone number and she departs, happy.

Later, Bishop confronts Silva telling him it won't do to be giving out the personal phone number of the French ambassador. It could provoke an international incident. A fool's folly can have far reaching effects.

Hillary won the popular vote in 2016, but her office was seized by the electoral college. Going from Madam President to crooked Hillary is on the order of a billionairess becoming a bag lady: intolerable. A fool's errand of dialing up an independent counsel on the basis of a good-sounding but unsound story has the potential for serious negative consequences on the order of a J.G. Jurado novel: “tanking stock markets, social unrest, rising inter­national tensions … Our country is already in a bad way. A new scandal would tear it asunder. We're patriots and we can't have that, now, can we?” (45–6)

Production Values

This summer sleeper, (2018) was directed by Peter Berg. The screen­play was written by Lea Carpenter from a story by Graham Roland. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, and Iko Uwais. A fighting Uwais is quite the scene-stealer in the vein of Bruce Lee. Lauren Cohan was a lively one. Ronda Rousey also delivered a strong female part. The characters were rough and tumble both in bearing and speech. All the acting was good.

MPAA rated it R for strong violence and language throughout. The camera work deserves credit for meticulously tracking the fast-paced action. The film is more into action than character development. The special effects were nicely done. The sound was dimensional.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

It was a great action flick, end to end. The male hero was a bit too intense for me to relate to well, but there were more than one strong, women who were a credible force in their own right. The tension doesn't let up but the whole picture is just 1½ hours long so we don't get burnt out by it. It was a good summer action flick.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Well done action flick Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening Special effects: Well done special effects Suspense: Keeps you on the edge of your seat Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture is taken from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software, print.

Boyer, Paul S., et al. The Enduring Vision A History of the American People. Vol. 2. Lexington, Mass.: D.C. Heath & Co., 1993. Print.

Jurado, J.G. Point of Balance. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2014. Print.