Produced by WWE Films
Running Time: 93 minutes
Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violent action, sensuality and language
by Jon Minners
Starring John Cena, the wrestling fan in me popped for what I believed to be a surprise hit. Kane’s See No Evil topped the $15 million it took to make the film and that was a horror movie. At a $30 million price tag, I assumed The Marine would follow suit.
So far, with only $7 million made in its first weekend, the movie is not faring too well and those who stayed home were probably the smart ones. I wasn’t.
The movie is about John Triton (Cena), a heroic marine who disobeys an order and in true Rambo style, saves a group of hostages during the war in Iraq. Discharged against his will and knowing only how to fight, Triton tries unsuccessfully to get a job as a security guard; with disastrous results.
Taking a cue from his wife, playing by Kelly Carlson, of Nip/Tuck fame, Triton plans on a vacation; that is until they run into Rome, played by Robert Patrick. The Terminator alumnus plays a ruthless criminal with a sick, almost perverted sense of humor. His band of misfits steals priceless diamonds during a robbery that had more twists than even the Inside Man, albeit with lackluster acting.
Unfazed by the presence of cops, Rome fires a machine gun at a patrol car while his partner destroys the vehicle with a blast from a missile launcher…all in broad daylight and in front of a bunch of witnesses. This all happens without as much as a scratch appearing on Rome despite his close proximity to the explosion.
Running from the police and looking to unload the diamonds, Rome’s men end up in an unnecessary confrontation with Highway Patrol, leading them to steal a vehicle, one containing Triton’s wife. That’s when all hell breaks loose.
This movie became more absurd with every passing minute. Besides Cena’s monotonous acting that makes it appear he is reading his lines right as the movie is filmed, the actual action sequences are ridiculous and totally unreal. Triton goes through hell to get his wife back. Several times, he is involved in the most over-the-top explosions where you literally see him appear to be burned alive, only to have him find a way out, again, with nary a scratch or even tattered clothing.
Triton is even compared to Terminator, an overly obvious nod to Patrick’s character in T2, but the problem is that Triton is not a machine; he’s a marine and therefore can be killed just like everyone else; only not in this movie. In this movie, he is made to look like a superhero and funny thing is, so is his car. Driving a police cruiser without a front window, Triton endures what had to be a couple hundred bullets shot at him and does not even get winged. Not once. Never. In fact, at one point, he grabs a bulletproof vest and blocks bullets with his arm. He’s Wonder Woman now. The bullets bounced off. They don’t bounce off vests like that. It literally made me scream, “What?!” and the 10 other people in the theater laughed hysterically. The car itself was tore up from the floor up and kept going like it was the Energizer Rabbit. It made little sense and took away from what would have been a great car chase.
But Triton is not really the focus of the movie. Patrick is a better actor and therefore garners much of the attention. I actually enjoyed his villainous ways. It was just high energy throughout the whole movie and it took away from the fact that his cronies were just plain horrible. I have never seen so much horrible dialogued bandied back and forth between C-celebrity actors before in my life. There is one story involving a camp counselor and rock candy that is absolutely disturbing and not funny. The only cohort worth watching was played by Abigail Bianco who had great sex appeal and really turned out one of the best fight scenes with Carlson. She was also part of the best scene in the whole movie that results in her death. And of course, everything leads to the ultimate fight scene between Triton and Rome that was just very much a letdown for those who have seen so much better in lesser films.
There is just nothing worth liking about this film. Massive explosions are not enough to distract real movie fans from what makes a film work; great acting and an intelligent plot. This film had neither. It tries to be an old school 80’s film, but it doesn’t even measure up to those misfires from our past. In a day and age when most people have grown up and expect more from their movies, The Marine’s attempt at regressing to the past becomes a black eye on the entire film industry.
See The Marine, because it is funny for all the wrong reasons, but if you are a fan of John Cena, stick with Monday Night Raw.
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