Confused About 'Mile 22'? Here's a Breakdown of the Ending (SPOILERS)
Spoiler Alert: This article contains massive spoilers for Mile 22.
Originally released in 2018, Peter Berg’s Mile 22 is now streaming on Netflix and has become one of the platform’s most popular new releases. Starring Mark Wahlberg as CIA field operative James Silva, the action-packed spy movie follows James and his team Overwatch.
The plot revolves around James and the team transporting a high-value target to an airstrip 22 miles away from the U.S. embassy in the fictional Indocarr.
But just when audiences think the team has completed their mission, a jaw-dropping twist puts everyone in jeopardy as James is forced to helplessly watch. So, what exactly happens at the end of the movie and most importantly, does Alice die in Mile 22?
Keep scrolling for a full debrief of the ending that includes many spoilers!
Does Alice die at the end of 'Mile 22'?
Mile 22 tells the story of James Silva and Overwatch, a black-ops CIA team that he heads to do the dirty, dark work of the American intelligence agency. The movie begins with the Overwatch team executing a raid of a Russian safe house in the U.S., looking for shipments of cesium. After successfully completing their mission, the team executes all the members of the cell including an 18-year-old boy who tells James that he’s making a big mistake before he’s shot dead.
While this raid seems unrelated to the rest of the plot, it becomes relevant later.
Flash-forward several months and the Overwatch team is in Indocarr, where local police officer Li Noor (played by The Raid’s Iko Uwais) arrives at the U.S. embassy with a disc that he says has information relating to the last batch of cesium that the team did not manage to secure in their raid. But the disc is encrypted and Noor is only willing to give up the code if he’s given asylum in the U.S.
When Indocarr’s intelligence agency tries to attack and subdue Li, the U.S. government decides to help him, and since they anticipate some pushback from the local government, they ultimately bring in Overwatch to transport their asset safely to an airstrip 22 miles away from the U.S. embassy.
After a long journey and grueling battles with what seems to be the entirety of Indocarr's armed forces that leave a lot of the team dead, James and his second in command, Alice (played by The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan), manage to get Li on the plane. But before Li and Alice take off, Li cryptically cracks a joke to James: “Say hi to your mother for me.”
As the plane takes off, the real stakes of the movie come into focus. A Russian cell is shown to have a tracking program that reveals Overwatch’s secret location and when their commander gives the go-ahead, assassins murder everyone at Overwatch headquarters.
It turns out that the cell is headed by Vera, a high-ranking Russian official whose son was the 18-year-old boy killed by James in the beginning of the movie.
We soon learn that the entire mission of transporting Li was actually a covert operation that the Russians were carrying out as revenge for the death of Vera’s son.
As Overwatch headquarters is being attacked, Li simultaneously takes over the plane and presumably shoots everyone on board. But the scene is tellingly ambiguous. Since the majority of this film is full of gory deaths shown in minute detail, the fact that audiences don’t explicitly see Alice die is enough to suggest that there’s more to the story than meets the eye.
The movie ends with James setting out to find Li and get his own revenge, so the possibility of a surprise appearance by Alice in any subsequent films wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility. We'll just have to wait and find out.
Stream Mile 22 on Netflix.