Look, I hadn’t been aware that Mark Wahlberg had a Peter Berg movie coming out about a group of ghost operatives. Now, if you had bum-rushed me on the street yesterday and asked “What’s Mark Wahlberg’s next movie?!” of course I would have been like, “I don’t know, some military thing directed by Peter Berg?” So it’s just nice to be able to live in certainty now. The trailer for Mile 22 dropped Tuesday morning, and it’s everything you could possibly want from a Wahl-Berg collab: vague mentions of clandestine operations, references to Harry Truman, Marky staring down the scope of a gun, and so on and so forth.
I do have a few questions, though. You start to notice things when you watch a trailer on loop for an hour.
Why Is Mark Wahlberg Smiling When He Says All His Lines?
The exchange that happens at the 1:03 mark is just perfect. You see, this guy (The Raid 2’s Iko Uwais) wants the United States to smuggle him out of a country (they don’t say which because it doesn’t matter); his government says he’s a low-level cop, but Marky’s smarter than that: “Your sitting here indicates he’s not so low-level,” Marky says to the government guy. “Be careful,” the government guy says. And then Marky replies:
Look at the joy on his face! He’s so happy! This is not the face of a man threatening another man; it’s the face of a man who just heard about a 50-cent wing deal at Applebee’s. And it’s not the only time Marky gleefully grins during a moment that calls for seriousness. Later in the trailer, he tells someone, “You’re chaos, but I think I might be worse,” and this is his facial expression:
Maybe the AT&T checks just cleared.
How Many Lines Does Ronda Rousey Have in ‘Mile 22’?
Former MMA star/current WWE star/person-who-is-in–Furious 7 Ronda Rousey is very much in this movie. I am sure of that. I am not sure how much she speaks, however. In the trailer, the only time she opens her mouth is to yell “Move! Move!” because she wants someone to move, move. Almost every other time she’s shown in the trailer, she’s just jamming a magazine into a semi-automatic weapon.
Mile 22 was supposed to be a martial-arts-heavy star vehicle for Rousey, but the studio grew hesitant that she’d be able to carry a movie. Per a New Yorker profile of Mile 22 studio STX:
Raising concerns about the fighter’s admittedly wooden performance in Furious 7, the studio head pushed Berg to find a big-name star, like Will Smith, to take on the part of Silva, a shadowy “intelligence hack who’s shoveled shit on four continents” whose role in the movie was tertiary: nothing a superstar would normally consider. And sure enough, Smith turned down the role (despite his love of MMA) and it eventually went to Mark Walhberg, who agreed to the movie only if his part was beefed up and he became, rather than the tragic turncoat who dies in the film’s third act, its star, and possibly the center of a new franchise.
Berg signed off, as did Fogelson, and the film was rewritten, and Rousey was once more pushed into the role of the fighter without much acting weight to carry, yet another Randy Couture or “Rampage” Jackson. As Fogelson said, with true Hollywood sugar, the new script will allow “Ronda to do everything she can and should do without having to carry any undue acting weight.”
What’s the over/under on how many lines Rousey has in Mile 22? I’m gonna set it at 7.5.
Who Cut John Malkovich’s Hairpiece?
Answer: I’m guessing he did. In a dark room.
Does Mark Wahlberg Wear the Same Flannel Shirt for the Entire Movie?
No, actually! He wears two flannel shirts, and they look ridiculously similar. There’s this one:
And this one:
Here’s to hoping “What’s up with all the red-and-blue flannel?” is one of Ronda Rousey’s lines.
Mile 22 comes out “soon.” That’s concerningly vague, but I’m still really excited.