The Jakarta Post
Actors Mark Wahlberg (left) and Iko Uwais (right) in a scene from 'Mile 22'. (JP/Handout)
Actor and martial artist Iko Uwais has become the first Indonesian to play a second leading role in a Hollywood movie.
His latest movie, Mile 22, premiered on Monday evening at Plaza Senayan XXI in Jakarta. The film is directed by renowned director Peter Berg, whose previous works include Hancock ( 2008 ), Deepwater Horizon ( 2016 ) and Patriots Day ( 2016 ).
Iko plays opposite Mark Wahlberg, who also starred in the latter two films directed by Berg.
While local celebrities were seen among the audience at the Jakarta premiere, Iko was said to be in Canada for his upcoming project. He sent a videotaped greeting, saying that he proudly presented Indonesia’s own pencak silat to the international audience through Mile 22.
Iko plays the role of Li Noor, a police officer from a Southeast Asian country holding top secret information that puts him in danger. He is willing to pass the information to a secret CIA unit code-named Overwatch whose members include James Silva (Wahlberg) and Alice Kerr (Lauren Cohan), under the supervision of James Bishop (John Malkovich).
In return of the information, Li Noor demands to be taken out of his country to the United States.
Overwatch can only receive the information and grant Li his demand after he passes through a 22-mile road that ends in an airstrip. A plane will be ready at the airstrip to pick up Li, also called the “asset” during the movie, and transport him to the US.
Obstacles start in US embassy where Li is being held, with agents of his home country attempting to assassinate him. That is where one of the big fight scenes takes place, portraying Li fending off his attackers with one arm cuffed to a bed rail.
The following scenes depict a car chase, stopping by at a couple of locations where the second big fight scene takes place, before finally arriving at the airstrip. Not only a plane awaits at the airstrip, however, but also a twist.
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In a video-recorded statement, Peter said that he intentionally limited the fight scenes to a couple of big ones and one is inspired by a scene from Eastern Promises ( 2007 ). He didn’t want the movie to become a martial art flick, but the fight scenes, choreographed by Iko, are the highlights of the movie.