‘Mile 22’ is a riddling ride through too many alleyways

Mark Wahlberg stars in 'Mile 22.' (Promotional Image)
Updated 25 August 2018

‘Mile 22’ is a riddling ride through too many alleyways

CHENNAI: “Mile 22” may sound like a strange title, but it is within this distance from an airfield to the American Embassy in Indocarr (a fictionalized version of perhaps South Korea) where most of the action unfolds.
A mystery agent, Li Noor (Iko Uwais), walks into the embassy with an asylum request. In return, he volunteers to hand over a code to decipher the location of shipments of cesium, a chemical capable of mass destruction. The code is inside a disc, which will deconstruct in eight hours.
James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) and his team of American commandos in charge of anti-terror operations are asked to escort Noor from the embassy to an airfield 22 miles away, where a waiting plane will take him away.
It is never clear why Noor turns himself in, and the film, which marks the fourth time that director Peter Berg and Wahlberg are collaborating, is equally perplexing at other places.
While their earlier film, “Patriots Day,” marked a high point (with “Lone Survivor” and “Deepwater Horizon” flying at various levels), “Mile 22” seems to have hit the bottom. The two have announced that it is the first of a trilogy, and it seems like a desperate attempt to start a franchise.
Much of the movie’s confusion comes down to its innumerable subplots. Silva is bitter most of the time, abusive, violent and driven to lecturing people to an extent that it drives them mad. Sometimes, he comes off as a habitual killer. Supposedly bipolar, orphaned at 11, married and divorced three times, he is bizarre. But he is also strangely entertaining.
The other bit of fun, although bloody, comes from Uwais’ martial arts hand-to-hand combat at the embassy’s detention center, while the painful divorce of team member Alice Kerr (Lauren Cohan) and her separation from her little daughter offer tearjerking moments. Much of all these could have been excised, save for Uwais’ bare-fisted fight, which is the movie’s high point.

‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

Updated 19 April 2019

‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition in Riyadh museum breathes new life into ancient sites 

  • National Museum in Riyadh hosts digital show that tells the story of Mosul, Palmyra, Aleppo and Leptis Magna

JEDDAH: An exhibition that uses digital technology to revive the region’s ancient sites and civilizations that have been destroyed or are under threat due to conflict and terrorism opened at the National Museum in Riyadh on April 18.

“Age-Old Cities” tells the story of four historically significant cities that have been devastated by violence: Mosul in Iraq, Palmyra and Aleppo in Syria, and Leptis Magna in Libya. 

Using stunning giant-screen projections, virtual reality, archival documents and images, and video testimonials from inhabitants of the affected sites, the immersive exhibition transports visitors back in time and presents the cities as they were in their prime. 

It charts their journey from the origins of their ancient civilizations to their modern-day state, and presents plans for their restoration and repair. 

The exhibition has been organized by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris. Riyadh is the first stop outside the French capital on the exhibition’s global tour. 

The exhibition follows last month’s unveiling of the Kingdom’s new cultural vision, which included the announcement of several initiatives, including a new residency scheme for international artists to practice in the Kingdom and the establishment of the Red Sea International Film Festival. 

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, minister of culture, said: “I am delighted to welcome the ‘Age-Old Cities’ exhibition to Riyadh. 

“It highlights the importance of heritage preservation, particularly here in the Middle East, and the vulnerability of some of our historic sites. 

“It must be the responsibility of governments to put an end to this damage and neglect, and to put heritage at the heart of action, investment, and policy.

“I will be encouraging my fellow members of government to attend this eye-opening exhibition in our National Museum, and hope to work in the future with partners, governments and experts to do what we can to secure our region’s heritage.”

The exhibition carries a significant message about the importance of preserving and protecting these precious but fragile sites — one which resonates strongly in the week when one of the world’s most-famous heritage sites, Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, went up in flames.