The Marine 2 (2009)
By: Devon B. on February 10, 2013 | Comments
20th Century Fox | Region B | 1.85:1, 1080p | English DTS-HD MA 5.1 | 95 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Roel Reine
Starring: Ted DiBiase, Jr., Temuera Morrison, Michael Rooker, Lara Cox
Screenplay: Christopher Borrelli, John Chapin Morgan
Country: USA
External Links
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I picked up The Marine 2 because it starred Ted DiBiase, but I thought the distributors must've put somebody else on the cover because DiBiase looked different. Strange Ted aside, I was willing to give it a go, particularly after surprisingly enjoying the prequel. Turns out the reason Ted looked odd was that on the cover and in the movie it isn't the real Ted DiBiase, but rather his son, Ted DiBiase. Junior has followed in his father's footsteps to become a professional wrestler, but I didn't know that. I guess it makes more sense for this wrestling film company to build a vehicle around a more recent star rather than one from my youth, but I must confess I was disappointed that I didn't get to see The Million Dollar Man laying the hurt down on some unsuspecting villains. Not being his father aside, Junior is not the most accomplished actor, but he does all right for someone with absolutely no film acting experience. I just wonder if he's a millionaire?

The Marine 2 is about Ted DiBiase (Junior), who's this marine, and the film points out that there's a difference between a soldier and a marine. I had friends that served in the military, and they said the difference was that soldiers think they're tough, whereas marines know they are. Marines have to be some pretty fit motherfuckers, too, but that doesn't always make them the best decision makers and DiBiase makes a call that results in the loss of innocent life. DiBiase takes some leave to deal with his guilt, and tags along with his wife on her job, which is to assist in opening a new upmarket resort in a previously pristine island paradise. Local terrorists, lead by Temuera Morrison, take over the resort because they object to Western society forcing itself on their local culture, but they don't capture DiBiase because he had been inappropriately interfering with his wife's career and she called him on it so he went off outside sulking like a big baby. DiBiase forgot to pack military resources for his holiday, so he's left improvising to try and rescue his wife and also the other people at the resort, but I don't think he cares as much about the latter.

The Marine was a combination of Commando and Die Hard, but The Marine 2 sadly leaves out the Commando influence so isn't as fun as its predecessor. This sequel is pretty much a straight Die Hard rip off, though DiBiase does have some sidekicks so I guess maybe it's more like an Under Siege rip off. As Die Hard knockoffs go, The Marine 2 is somewhere between Command Performance and Under Siege, so it's not a bad one. One thing that helps set it apart is the motivation of the terrorists, because with a slight shift of perspective they could be the good guys, standing up to greedy outsiders ruining the way of life of the indigenous people. I'm not sure which indigenous people they are, though. I thought the movie was taking place in Thailand, and it was filmed there, but then Morrison turned up as an angry native and I thought maybe it was supposed to be somewhere closer to New Zealand. But then some of the fighting is Muay Thai, so I guess maybe it's set in a part of Thailand where some of the local people are Maori?

Confusing as it was in terms of the film's location, I think Morrison is one of the greatest actors ever so I'm always really happy to see him in any movie, though it does seem most US based productions waste his talents. It was weird seeing someone of Morrison's calibre against most of the rest of this cast, but the other performers usually do okay for this sort of movie. Perhaps to knock Morrison's performance down a peg or two he gets saddled with some awkward ADR in his finale, but even taking that into account Morrison is by far the best in the cast. Next best would have to be the mostly reliable Michael Rooker as a grizzled tour director that reluctantly helps DiBiase, and then after that no one really stood out to me as being much better or worse than anyone else.

Besides singlehandedly making the cast of The Marine 2 better than that of the first film, Morrison is also a better final fight villain than Robert Patrick was in the first movie. It's not that Patrick did anything wrong, but he didn't look like much of a match against the muscular John Cena. Here Morrison does look like he could do some major damage to DiBiase, and given any audience worth a damn has already seen Morrison convincingly and resoundingly beat up opponents much bigger than he is, there is at least the possibility that DiBiase could lose. The action overall is much better directed than in the first film, with Roel Reiné, the co-writer of Bear, keeping things much easier to track than they were in The Marine. The action is also more graphically violent than the first movie, which isn't saying much, so clearly the wrestling film people were targeting a slightly older audience.

I was completely unaware of this particular Ted DiBiase before seeing The Marine 2, so for me this was just another Die Hard knockoff, but it's a decent one.
The Disc
The Marine 2 looks clean and clear and can have good detail, but the image was not as vibrant as I was expecting. The first scene looks intentionally bleak, so I understood why that wasn't eye candy, but later when the couple arrive at the island paradise I still thought the picture lacked that Blu-ray pop. There was a bit of crush in darker scenes, but I actually thought overall the transfer looked better when the lights went down, which is unusual. There was also a small amount of edge enhancement. It's certainly not a reference disc, but the quality was generally good, it just never looked great. The DTS-HD Master Audio track is not a subtle one, nor a particularly refined or dynamic track, but it is loud. Bullets go flying and there are some big explosions, plus larger guns have a nice depth to their sound. The rears are used, but not necessarily in a targeted way, more of a melee of sound, but the bombastic nature of the track is in no way a hindrance to the enjoyment of the film. There're also a few lossy dubs, which sounded similar in quality to each other, but they're obviously no comparison to the lossless mix.

For extras there're about 10 minutes of extended scenes that focus on the couple's relationship but also offer up more Rooker; about three minutes of deleted scenes that offer nothing except some brief, above the waist, back nudity; a deleted shot montage; a series of making of featurettes; and Muay Thai fight outtakes. The making of stuff runs about 25 minutes all up, and includes some general making of stuff, an interview with local boy Michael Lake who went on to help bring the world the awesome Bait and info on the stunts and fighting, the locations, the director, Ted himself and a bit of the elder Ted DiBiase. It was fun seeing DiBiase Snr. as a family man after so many years of watching him as a heel, and at least he did appear on the Blu-ray somewhere so I wasn't a total prat for picking up the disc to see him. The deleted shot montage is a collection of shots, not scenes, that Reiné liked but that weren't used in the film. I wanted to make fun of this, but I have to admit there is some cool imagery in here.
The Verdict
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score
I didn't have as much fun with this one as I did with the original, but The Marine 2: Die Hard on an Island is okay. Evidently a third instalment is in production, so hopefully that one will bring back some of the tongue-in-cheek nature of the first movie. On its own, The Marine 2 is an okay Direct to Video actioner, and DiBiase's fans will no doubt be impressed with his film debut.

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