The Marine

"Weak"

The Marine Review


When The Rock unofficially decided, several years ago, that he'd like to be the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, someone must've sensed an opening down the action-hero totem pole; who's going to be the next Jean-Claude Van Damme, the next Chuck Norris, or the next The Rock, for that matter? Enter another professional wrestler, John Cena, and his film debut, The Marine. Cena plays John Triton, established early in the movie as the only U.S. soldier to ever feel depressed about leaving Iraq. It's not even by choice -- he is discharged for disobeying a direct order, busting up some (yes) al Qaeda operatives and saving fellow soldiers in the process. Marines, as we all know, are not trained to follow orders, just as commanding officers are not trained to give orders to save lives.

Triton returns home to his loving wife Kate, played by Kelly Carlson. In their brief romantic interludes, she appears distressingly close to fitting into a single palm of Cena, who looks sort of like a prehistoric Matt Damon. Fortunately for the restless marine, his wife is soon taken hostage by a disorganized band of jewel-thieving psychopaths, led by Rome (Robert Patrick). Psychopaths, as we all know, frequently channel their bloodlust into diamond heists.

When the thieves kill a bunch of cops and abscond with Kate, Triton pursues them in a beat-up cop car, withstanding a hail of automatic gunfire as he barrels down the highway to reclaim his stolen property, er, wife. This sequence is actually pretty neat; the cop car takes about a thousand bullets and sheds all kinds of parts, but Triton keeps driving. It's a good thing someone sees fit to finally blow it up, because I have no doubt that had the chase continued, John Triton would've had no problem sticking his feet out of the bottom of the car and running it himself, Flintstones style.

Later, the movie show us Triton's keen Marines-honed tracking skills in action, as he notices footprints in mud and an enormous knife dropped by one of the bad guys. Don't try this at home, laymen. Did I mention that most of the action takes place in a woodsy area dotted with abandoned cabins and warehouses? Maybe I didn't need to. If not for the regular fiery explosions, The Marine would be an environmentalist's dream; it's made from 100 percent recycled materials. This is the type of movie where you're not surprised to hear White Zombie's "More Human Than Human" blasting on the soundtrack within the first 15 minutes; in fact, you're more surprised that it doesn't play continuously throughout the rest of the movie.

Despite the White Zombie, the explosions, and the locations that look ordered from a low-budget action movie catalog, The Marine isn't quite the movie I'd hoped it would be. Its stupidity/gratuity ratio is off. Sure, Cena twice emerges from water looking pissed off after jumping away from an explosion, but he never rises up in slow motion with a gun in each hand. Yes, the marine dispatches murderous vigilante justice, but never uses any puns.

The Marine does flirt with this kind of awesome idiocy, but at the end of the night, it doesn't take you home (or even hit you with a chair). During the first half hour or so, I felt something approaching delight in the way it kicks ass at being totally lousy. Then, when the "tracking through the woods" portion of the film begins, it gets bogged down in trying to make the gang of bad guys more tongue-in-cheek than the rest of the picture. Robert Patrick gets to spout off some good-bad-good lines, but interplay between his kept thugs isn't as self-aware as the screenplay seems to think. The cutesy bickering actually makes you wonder how the gang has managed to spend the whole movie avoiding getting straight-up murdered by Triton/Cena, especially considering how physically non-imposing they all are. Isn't this kind of gang supposed to have a really huge dumb guy with a nickname like "Beast" or "Bear" who Triton has to fight second-to-last, before his confrontation with Patrick?

The Marine regains some so-dumb-it-rules ground for the finale, which takes place in warehouse that seems to store explosions. But at this point, it's not enough -- at least not for a theatrical release. By all means, if you're up at three in the morning watching HBO, and this movie comes on, put on a pot of coffee, clear your throat, and get ready to play the Mystery Science Theater 3000 at-home game.

The DVD includes both theatrical and unrated cuts, making-of featurettes, and footage from the world premeire at Camp Pendleton. (They love marines there.)

I love you, man!



The Marine

Facts and Figures

Run time: 92 mins

In Theaters: Friday 13th October 2006

Box Office USA: $18.7M

Budget: $15M

Distributed by: 20th Century Fox

Production compaines: WWE Studios

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%
Fresh: 9 Rotten: 37

IMDB: 4.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: John Bonito

Producer:

Starring: as John Triton, as Kate Triton, as Rome, as Billy, Jerome Ehlers as Van Buren, Firass Dirani as Terrorist, Christopher Morris as Rick

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.