A third installment? I thought the second film was about a mutating virus that wiped every last Marine off the face of the earth.
You wish, candy ass. The WWE is back, and per their mandate, they remain at the forefront of good old fashioned entertainment. The WWE is about faith and family, flag and country, apple pie and freedom. Wrestling or the Marines, sweaty men get their due.
That’s all well and good, but the Marines are known for inspiring shit-ass movies. Now the Navy, that’s a crack outfit. Even the Army rocks the screen now and again.
The Marine 3 breaks ties with the past, pushing that unsung branch of the military to new cinematic heights. This one’s about the homefront, my man, with all the perils of civilian life laid bare: PTSD, readjustment, rehabilitation, joblessness, traumatic brain injuries…..everything they don’t want you to know about after the guns have fallen silent. Rife with political intrigue, heart, and bold storytelling, The Marine 3 exposes the lies of the Pentagon bureaucracy, naming names and leaving no stone unturned in its search for the truth. It’s the expose America’s been waiting for, and it took the WWE to make it happen. Hand Vince McMahon a Nobel Prize at long last. This is his Red Badge of Courage; his Catch-22. His tear-filled confessional before a hungry, literate public.
Technically, yes, but why not read between the lines? Mike “The Miz” Mizanin is Sgt. Jake Carter, U.S. Marine since 2002, now home in Bridgeton, WA for two weeks. Turning his back on boredom and the town’s lumber mill, he joined the military after 9/11 to defend freedom, and all he got for his trouble was a thick neck, iron abs, and parents who didn’t have the courtesy to die while he was stateside. But two sisters live on, and they’re about to lose the family farm because of insanely high property taxes that pay for third-trimester abortions, cell phones for the poor, and full wardrobes for the region’s Mexicans. At least that’s the implication. Fortunately for the viewers at home, the film’s opening scenes of rippling flags, inspirational anthems, and unchecked firepower don’t involve actual death, and the kiddies can keep believing the hype that to be a Marine is to rescue stray animals and the occasional apple-cheeked orphan.
So Sgt. Carter is home….So what? We gotta kiss his ass the whole time?
Not this town, buddy. His sisters resent him, old friends eye him with suspicion, and no one’s about to tolerate this cocksucker kicking ass down at the bar just because he did so in Iraq. “We don’t need a protector,” sis cries, “We’re all grown up around here.” Set your watches, people, because it’s just a matter of time before this man – this Marine – shows every man, woman, and child of Bridgeton, WA that if you want to be free, people gotta die. Something about needing them on that wall, being tucked under the blanket of freedom that only they provide, etc.
Stop right there. Al Qaeda ain’t about to attack a town of 5,000 in rural Washington. I know my history. What kind of shit are you trying to pull?
In a twist only Vince McMahon could engineer, the enemies of life and love are not Islamic radicals. Hell, they’re not even brown. Every last man trying to destroy our way of life is white! The lead terrorist, Jonah Pope, is pissed. He hates bankers and CEOs, and wants capitalism destroyed because his sister was thrown off her insurance just as the cancer was taking hold. And his parents lost their home. And greed is tearing us all apart. He’s the sort of criminal mastermind who stages an elaborate bank robbery, only to insist on burning half the money in the lobby because he’s all about “taking no more than a man needs.” He’s like Robin Hood and Occupy Wall Street, all wrapped up in one. Oh, and he’s certifiably insane. Why else make him extol the virtues of his PhD in philosophy?
So how the fuck does the Marine get involved?
Sgt. Carter’s sister, the one defiantly dating a deadbeat, accidentally witnesses the terrorist group completing a deal for RDX explosives. A man is killed. She screams, of course, and is swiftly captured. Now secured, along with her boyfriend, in an abandoned ship doubling as terrorist hideout, the Marine leaps into action, quickly killing three people before being stopped by the FBI. You see, the feds have been tracking Pope and his gang for months, and they even have a mole inside the outfit. If I know my WWE, the FBI will blow their cover, drop the ball, and get a whole mess of agents killed because they wouldn’t just let the Marine go in and do what Marines do. Message: the government is incompetent, unless it’s the military, which isn’t really the government. Or something.
But isn’t Pope preparing his biggest attack yet? Some bombing target that symbolizes America’s engine of greed?
Indeed. In a monologue that constitutes 95% of the film’s total dialogue, Pope lays bare his hatred of the rich, though not those who simply have a lot of money. You see, a man can make $300,000 a year and not be rich. Mitt Romney logic aside, he’s simply saying that if you make something – a product, a contribution, what have you – then you can keep your cash. But if you simply move money around, you must die. “That’s not rich,” he exclaims, “That’s obscene.” Fairly standard left-wing populism, but the WWE plays its hand by making Pope stupid. After the kidnapped sister asks him about the mere workers who would also die in the attack, he appears genuinely perplexed. What’s more, he doesn’t seem to care. I mean, the WWE, a corporation, isn’t about to endorse a man who hates corporations. In the end, “class warfare” is the target of McMahon’s ire, and pretty much anyone who complains about executive pay, falling wages, or any level of inequality whatsoever must be tarred and feathered a murderous jerk. And hell, only a philosophy major would think 20 CEOs inhabit the same building at the same time. Like they ever spend time at the office to begin with.
So does the FBI just give the fuck up and let the Marine do his duty?
Pausing only to remove the bodies of the fallen, Carter enters the ship, kills everyone he sees, and manages to escape unscathed despite being shot at point blank range by machine guns and grenade launchers. FBI jackboots die after one shot; Marines never die, per the will of God. Still, he’s caught. Then he escapes, only to be caught again. Then the pussy boyfriend Carter hated proves his manhood by killing a few terrorists. “I hunt every weekend,” he beams, demonstrating that America would be lost if we stopped training our wee ones to kill, be it bar drunk or Bambi. It’s the fantasy all conservatives share – stay sharp, stay alert, and stay armed, lest we surrender to evil from without. Which explains why so many go insane and just end up killing themselves.
Do Pope and the Marine have a standoff to end this fucking thing?
Pope’s plot is interrupted, so rather than taking a disguised police car laden with explosives to downtown Seattle, he decides to detonate the damn thing right there in Bridgeton. But first, the Marine guns down the emasculated Pope in a scene so underwhelming I’m not even sure it happened. What, no talking killer? No roar to the heavens as the bullets pierce flesh? He just sort of lays down for a nap and that’s that. Fortunately, the Marine drives the ticking time bomb of a car out of town exactly one second before it explodes, saving the day and our way of life. It troubles no one that the explosion, while cool and all, is hardly the stuff that could have brought down a building. Still, it’s enough to provide a slo-mo of Carter outrunning a fireball and walking towards the camera covered in blood and ash. Hugs are exchanged, music swells, and the Marine even lets a little smile appear on his lips. Maybe Part IV will be a comedy. Because when I think big laughs, I think the Marine Corps.
By all means. A building is spared, saving 50-60, but 77 federal agents died preventing the attack. So a wash. And a waste. But the Marines live on. As does the logic from Vietnam – reduce a country to rubble, kill millions, poison and cripple the rest, and bag it as “saved.” God help us if we ever put any thought into this shit.