Thursday, September 27, 2018

Mile 22

In one of the few, moments in which Milla 22 gives a break to an audience surpassed by scenes of hyper-realistic action and ideological cruelty, the character of Mark Wahlberg looks around him, his pawn-men in a deadly game of who do not know the rules and the keys, and asks who are the good guys and the bad guys? There is no answer for that secret soldier, that mercenary without
Glory, unable to know if he is doing the right thing or not. Mile 22, the film, yes that answers us, to the spectators, but not with something that reassures us or that we shine. On the contrary, nothing he tells us, and how he does it, leaves us with some hint of moral relief: all, without exception, are the dark side of the moon. Does not the film even show a sort of acceptable condescension towards its heroes? trapped in a spiral of state executions, suicide missions and continuous jumps between right and wrong. The notes (forgettable in the end) about the civil life of the characters (some of them directly melodramatic: the issue of separation and custody of a daughter), far from humanizing them turns them into psychopaths, unbalanced who find in violence their way of being.

None of this should surprise us in the cinema of Peter Berg, except in his collaborations (this is the fourth) with Wahlberg. Although systematically accused of promoting a reactionary, individualistic and patriotic discourse, when viewed without prejudice (and without taking into account how many of those films end: documentary images of the real protagonists of the stories he has recreated) his
We are witnessing an unpleasant description of the immense purgatory in which American society has become. The actions that this savage group of mercenary spirit, at the orders of middle managers of government agencies or paragovernmental, are seen by them at first as a crusade in favor of freedom. However, like the troops trapped and massacred in
the Afghanistan of The only survivor or the policemen hunting for two miserable and pathetic terrorists in Day of patriots, ends do not justify the means, and both victims and executioners end up in the same circle of Hell.

Mile 22 provokes you, on an ideological level, a continuous shaking. It loses its cannon fodder in madness (somewhat to the spectators, that is also true) in those incomprehensible maneuvers of current geopolitics. And it shakes them physically. The best thing is again, as is usual in the filmography of Peter Berg, the harshness of his violence. Action sequences, especially close combat, flirt with the gore. But in that pain, that breakdown of bone and flesh, perhaps the message of the film is found.

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