The Marine (2006)
By: Devon B. on February 9, 2013 | Comments
20th Century Fox | Region B | 1.85:1, 1080p | English DTS-HD MA 5.1 | 92 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: John Bonito
Starring: John Cena, Kelly Carlson, Robert Patrick, Anthony Ray Parker, Abigail Bianca
Screenplay: Michell Gallagher, Alan McElroy
Country: USA
External Links
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I used to love wrestling until I was about 12. I rediscovered the sport as a comedy goldmine at about 17, but I didn't get to watch it that often and I never really learned the newer wrestlers, so I don't know much about The Marine's star John Cena. I quickly learned he's not a hugely emotive actor but he is one fit motherfucker, and his performance suits the material, at least.

The movie starts with Cena, playing a guy also named John so he wouldn't get confused, breaking up an execution. The scene has some cool, though at times too chaotic to follow, action, so my expectations were raised. Cena saves the day, but he gets discharged because he didn't follow orders. He struggles adjusting to civilian life and he and his wife decide to take a break from everything, but on their way to their holiday they run afoul of some thieves lead by Robert Patrick. Cena's wife is taken hostage but he is on the captors' trail quick smart.

If Luc Besson wanted to combine a buffed up Die Hard with a less homoerotic Commando, but didn't to spend too much time making the script clever, The Marine might've been the result. The movie's fast paced, ridiculous, overblown and brimming with action. Like with the first scene, there are moments where the direction gets too frantic to follow, but most of the time I could tell what was going on and who was bodyslamming who. The whole thing is a bit anti-climactic because Patrick is the final fight opponent, and when he can't morph into liquid metal it's hard to believe he'd be a stayer against his burly adversary, but a lot of stuff explodes to distract from this fact.

Also distracting viewers from any flaws is a jovial tone that runs throughout the film. There are a lot of gags in this movie, including the obligatory Terminator reference, but thankfully The Marine usually skirts a heavy handed feel with its sense of humour. The comedy keeps the tone light, so despite being an M rated movie that draws its main inspiration from graphically violent and profane movies, The Marine doesn't feel too watered down. I never mistook it for anything other than M, but given the humour it didn't feel crippled by the rating like a lot of M rated action.

Cena wrote a song for the movie which plays during the end credits. It made me think he's a would be Marky Mark, which I guess would be a migger? Awful music notwithstanding, I liked Cena as an unstoppable dude that can walk away from multiple explosions with hardly a scratch. This might've been a right mood, right time kind of thing, but I really enjoyed The Marine, and I'd happily watch Cena in another action movie.
The Disc
The video presentation is a bit muddled for The Marine. The print is usually sharp and clean, but grain can get heavy and detail levels waver. Colours can be oversaturated, leaving flesh tones looking a bit orange, and there's also a bit of edge enhancement. It's not a bad transfer per se, but it's not an exciting one and the movie could certainly look better.

Things improve with the audio, a DTS HD-Master Audio 5.1 mix that's loud and bombastic. It's not reference quality, but bullets fly and stuff blows up real good, so this track is fun and does what it needs to. There're also French and German lossy DTS 5.1 mixes that seemed similar to each other when I sampled them, but they're not as clear as the lossless track and also not quite as loud. For those that miss the days when White Zombie were in almost every trailer/movie, The Marine brings 'em back by including "More Human than Human" on the soundtrack.

The Blu-ray comes with a selection of featurettes, the trailer and a short look at the film's premiere. There's a making of that points out the movie is simple but has a lot of action, but then it still breaks down the simple plot. There're also two featurette collections, with each collection running about 15 minutes in total. The first is a series of WWE promos which repeats info from the making of and mostly is a bunch of ads for the movie, but there is some more making of info here. There's also a Cena featurette collection, which proves Cena really is modelling himself after Marky Mark and also shows him doing some marine training and golfing on the Gold Coast.
The Verdict
The Marine is so indebted to Commando it even has a character named Bennett, and while The Marine is not up there with that classic, it's still a fun movie. It was way better than I anticipated, and much more entertaining than most movies that star a wrestler.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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