Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: The Marine (2006)


“I hate cops and rock candy.”

Director: John Bonito
Starring: John Cena, Kelly Carlson and Robert Patrick
Writers: Michelle Gallagher and Alan B. McElroy

Transferring a wrestler from the ring to the big screen seems like a logical idea. They have to act throughout the year, do all their own stunts, and the best of the best have a charisma that can shine through even the crapiest of writing. So why despite this logic, does it seem almost impossible for a wrestler to make the leap. The only one that comes to mind as successful is The Rock. Sure Rowdy Piper had a few good movies (They Live is a personal favourite), but he never reached the heights of big action stars. So with all that in mind we come to The Marine, a movie that shows us what the wrestler known as John Cena is made of.

Well to tell you the truth he certainly looks like an action hero, but John Cena while having a natural charisma in the ring, doesn’t really have the acting chops to make it in Hollywood. It’s not exactly the biggest of shocks. Thankfully what John Cena lacks is more than made up for with the ham acting that is Robert Patrick. I’m a fan of his work, and I like how he can take small roles but bring enough character to at least make him memorable. In this movie he’s almost the main star and I loved every minute he was on the stage. At one moment he makes sure to get his cable television hooked up, while on the run. It funny and awesome all at the same time. When an actor is having this much fun playing the villain, you can’t help but have fun as well.

Still we aren’t here for acting, we’re here for action, and action is what we get. It’s well shot, and has some interesting ideas behind it. Sure things can get really ridiculous; the number of explosions in this movie is mind blowing, but there is a certain charm to it all. The Marine actually is a throwback to all the crazy action movies of the 80’s. If this was filmed during that time I could see a Schwarzenegger, Stallone or even a Seagal (on seconds thought please god no) in the lead role. Sure it would have been one of their lesser movies but people would still be watching it in marathons or torturing themselves with internet reviews.

Story wise the movie is a mess. There are so many plot holes this movie could be swiss cheese (I’m sure I’ve used that joke before). But if only that was the only problem, as the movie suffers from characters doing the complete opposite of what has been previously established all in order to move the plot along. The story also suffers from some horrible tonal problems that just make the movie rhythm hard to follow. It obvious that this script was churned out quick so it WWE could put a wrestler into the movie as soon as possible.

Yet for all its faults, its gloriously bad faults, I still had fun with this movie. Yeah I was surprised too. If anything its how the movie taps into a form of action movies that seem to have faded from popularity. Robert Patrick is a blast, and while Cena is certainly not the best he isn’t god awful like Hulk Hogan. If you are a fan of 80’s action movies then you may want to give this movie a watch, just be warned it’s bad but stuffed with ridiculous fun.

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