James Silva (Mark Wahlberg) has seen it all as a U.S. Marine and a member of a black ops team known as Overwatch. As the film opens, the team takes down a Russian safehouse stateside and executes the inhabitants. Fastforwarding a year and a half later, the team ends up grinding at desk jobs until they’re assigned to transport police officer Li Noor (Iko Uwais of The Raid & The Raid 2) the pre-requisite twenty-two miles.
Silva’s team boasts a group of actors (or at least famous folks) you’ll recognize: John Malkovich, Lauren Cohan (The Walking Dead), and Ronda Rousey. Silva’s job is to get Noor through a series of attacks from the Indonesian government who don’t want the knowledge Noor has getting out of the country. Silva’s incentive? There’s a file the U.S. government wants inside of Noor’s sealed drive that Noor promises will be unlocked if he’s transported to safety. [Lurking in the wings are some Russians, led by Nikolai Nikolaeff (of Daredevil), but … whatever, right?]
Silva has issues, and while he might not be the most unlikable character Marky Mark has ever played, he’s close. He doesn’t seem to have much connection or affection for anyone, and his focus on the job seems more psychopathic than noble. But Wahlberg plays him as funny, and thanks to director Peter Berg, the cinematography is reasonably exciting (if not terribly bloody).
But Uwais is the star. In one scene he’s handcuffed to a hospital bed, and the first attack on his character’s defector life his made. He dances around the room, chained to the bed, fighting off multiple attackers in a scene that is stunning in its brutality and eye-exploding in its choreography. If for no other reason, fans of The Raid will want to check out this scene. Special features also dive into Overwatch, and the women of the film, but the gem is still getting more of Uwais and seeing how he does what he does.