Movie reviews: Crazy Rich Asians and Mile 22

Crazy Rich Asians and Mile 22 are in cinemas now. Photos: Supplied.
Crazy Rich Asians and Mile 22 are in cinemas now. Photos: Supplied.

In New York, NYU Economics Professor Rachel Chu (Fresh off the Boat’s Constance Wu) and her long-time boyfriend, Nick Young (Henry Golding), are just like anyone else. 

In Singapore, once Nick has introduced Rachel to his family, they become the talk of the town. 

As it tuns out, Nick – to his girlfriend’s surprise – is part of one of the asian nation’s wealthiest and most powerful families.

Based on Kevin Kwan’s best-selling novel, Crazy Rich Asians never strays from its likeable and fleshed-out lead couple.

Although Rachel is technically the focal point, Nick is a shining example of how leading men in romantic-comedies should be developed. 

Instead of having the supporting characters draw focus, director John M. Chu utilises them just enough. 

YouTube sensation turned actor Awkwafina and comedy superstar Ken Jeong are just two of the movie’s many extraordinary cast members. 

Michelle Yeoh wows as Nick’s less-than-impressed mother, while Australian comedian and Daily Show correspondent Ronny Chieng turns up as a wealthy buffoon. 

Crazy Rich Asians fires on all cylinders as a romantic-comedy, but is even better at comparing the asian and asian-American experiences.

Mile 22

In espionage action-thriller Mile 22, Mark Wahlberg stars as strike team leader James Silva. 

Silva balances a psychological disorder with an overly demanding job, much to the dismay of his colleagues.

His tiffs with teammates Alice Kerr (Lauren Cohan) and Sam Snow (UFC champion Rhonda Rousey) are put on hold when super-cop/US Government informant Li Noor (Iko Uwais, star of The Raid and The Raid 2: Berandal) demands a way out of Asia in exchange for information about a new world threat. 

In the hands of hit-and-miss producer/director Peter Berg (known for Patriot’s Day, Deepwater Horizon, Lone Survivor, Hancock, and Battleship), Mile 22 is as erratic and unlikable as its lead character. 

In full ‘Marky-Mark’ mode, Wahlberg portrays Silva as a fast-talking, aggressive, and screechy infant.

Attempting to put us in Silva’s shoes, Berg delivers an endless array of Bourne-style quick cuts and shaking cameras. 

His shoddy action-direction makes each gunfight and fist-fight nigh-incomprehensible. 

Uwais – regarded as one of Indonesia’s best martial artists and performers – is given two action scenes distorted by Berg’s style. 

The movie’s interesting premise is squandered by ticks, tropes, and heavy-handed messages.