DVD Release Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Director John Bonito’s debut film “The Marine” can pretty much be summed up in one simple, all-purpose hashtag: #LOLCenaWins.
Fifteen-time WWE Champion John Cena stars in the title role, a marine named John Triton. In the opening scene, Triton ignores a direct order to not engage a group of hostile militants because he needs to save his fellow marines. While he is successful, he is discharged for ignoring the order.
John goes home to his beautiful wife Kate (Kelly Carlson), and tries to lead a normal life as a security guard. That lasts all of one day before he throws a man through a window, and it’s back to square one. Kate convinces John that they should take a trip, and since he has no job and nothing else to do, John agrees.
Meanwhile, a group of criminals led by the charismatic Rome (Robert Patrick) is running amok, robbing a jewelry store and causing plenty of general mayhem, including the murder of two cops. John and Kate unfortunately cross paths with this crew of miscreants at a gas station that they happen to be robbing. Triton gets bashed in the face with a fire extinguisher, and the bad guys steal his car and kidnap his wife.
What follows is a fairly predictable chase movie, with John chasing down Rome and his crew, undaunted in his quest to rescue Kate. In his first movie role, Cena is noticeably wooden but he at least shows a level of charisma that makes it understandable that someone would want to cast him in the lead of an action picture. Patrick absolutely hams it up and appears to be having a great time, and has a couple of cute little bad guy lines sprinkled throughout the film. He’s as effective as a movie like this would require him to be.
Only one scene truly sticks out in this decidedly mediocre flick, and for all the wrong reasons. One of Rome’s henchman, Morgan (Anthony Ray Parker) recounts a story of getting molested by his childhood camp counselor, and for some reason Bonito appears to be staging it for laughs. It’s beyond bizarre and I can’t imagine what writers Michell Gallagher and Alan McElroy were thinking when they wrote it.
“The Marine” is not a particularly good movie, but it gleefully exists in the same universe as goofy ‘80s action flicks like “Commando” and the like. That gives “Marine” a small amount of charm, but not much more than that.