[Movie Review] The Marine

The MarineStarring: John Cena, Robert Patrick, Kelly Carlson, Anthony Ray Parker
Director: John Bonito
Genre: Action
Cert: 15
Released: 2006

John Triton (Cena) is an active US marine who, rather than wait for the agreed backup, bursts in to an Al Qaeda hideout in Iraq, kills about 9 insurgents and frees three fellow marines. Although this was a rather cool thing to do, the US military think otherwise and issue him with an honorable discharge for disobeying orders. Triton returns home to his wife, Kate (Carlson), and, after failing to settle back in regular life as a security guard, he and Kate take off for a vacation.

Unfortunately he chose to stop for gas at the same service station as unpredictable diamond thief, Rome (Patrick) and his gang. One shoot-out later and John sees the desperate gang take his car and wife leaving the ex-marine with no choice but to engage in a a wild cross-country chase to reclaim his property.

If the plot line sounds linear and uncomplicated, well, that’s exactly what it is – painfully so. Action dominates proceedings: exploding buildings, exploding police cars; when you’ve seen John’s commandeered police car take about 200 bullets without slowing him down, you won’t be able to move for the eye-rolling. The script is terrible. Robert Patrick is a respected B-movie actor and TV star who wrestles with terribly-judged attempts at humour (hanging up on his fence to take a call from a cable company trying to upgrade his pacakge and Morgan’s suggestion of a homosexual relationship when he was young jump to mind). One line that does work is his henchman’s comparing of John Triton to The Terminator, which brings a knowing glance from Rome.

Patrick is entertaining considering what he has to work with and Cena’s acting is passable considering that he’s not an actor. But the rest of the cast are nothing to write home about and Jerome Ehlers (looking remarkably like a cross between Peter Crouch and Ryan Tubridy) is clearly someone more at home in predictable cable TV thrillers.

John Bonito makes his directorial debut here but doesn’t really distinguish himself. Some of the action scenes are well shot but there is no John Woo stylistics here to raise the interest level and the plot “twist” can be seen a mile off.

One for American student meatheads.


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