THE MARINE

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Holy shit! The Marine? In these times?

Not even close. In what must be one of the most egregious cases of false advertising in American history, John Bonito’s film spends all of two minutes with an actual Marine (pro wrestler John Cena as “John Triton”) before he is discharged for disobeying a direct order while on a rescue mission in Iraq. He is then working as a security guard, where he is quickly fired for throwing a man out a window, before finally settling in with his hot wife, who wants to drive to the mountains and get away from it all. And so they do, where they meet up with a crazy band of diamond thieves, who take Triton’s wife hostage, blow up a good 25,000 acres of South Carolina swampland, and all end up good and dead. Jewelry thieves? Kidnapping plots? Where are the swarthy terrorists reduced to tongue-clicking insanity, and noble military men saving white Christians from certain death? And what’s with a Marine having a wife, anyway? Shouldn’t he have his red, white, and blue cock deep inside a fellow recruit right about now?

So tell me about this John Cena….Typical wrestler?

Jesus Christ on a barbecue spit, this fucker is built! Semper fabulous. His arms are tree trunks, his neck so big no shirt will ever contain him, and his legs could press several dozen elephants. He’s an impenetrable slab of beef; so goddamn muscular and stacked and masculine that he owed it to us to strip down and flirt with his regiment. And as expected, his acting was atrocious in every conceivable way, which might explain his virtual silence for 90% of the movie. I’m thinking he attended the “When in doubt, grimace” school of emoting. To add to the trouble, Vince McMahon held down the fort as executive producer.

Okay, I get that Cena is a marble wonder, but how tough is the sumbitch?

In the film’s 82 minutes, he is stabbed, shot, kicked, punched, burned, slammed with bats, pummeled with steel bars, thrown through doors, and, in one scene, survives with nary a scratch after his car flies off a cliff and explodes, while he jumps to safety below – that is, if “safety” is to be interpreted as a fifty-foot fall onto jagged rocks. All Marine, candy-ass.

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Surely there were allusions to 80s Action?

And how. The corpse count was a healthy 18, death and muscles were so sacred as to be holier than Christ’s crotch, one-liners flew like chickenshit Commies from a fair fight, and chicks were reduced to lips, hips, and broken flesh-heaps dumped roadside. Oh, and Robert Patrick of T2 is Rome, the bad guy. At one point, with the Marine in hot pursuit, a thief cries out, “He’s like the Terminator, this guy!” Patrick looks up at the rearview mirror and all but winks for us. Even better, one of Rome’s henchmen — the most muscular of the lot — is named Bennett. No chain-mail, but oiled to perfection.

What’s with all the fucking fire, chief?

Hell, I haven’t seen this many explosions since The Atomic Bomb Movie. At least three cars were reduced to Hiroshima-like clouds of gas and flame; an entire marina was launched into the heavens; a gas station was hastily converted into a blackened crater; a second marina was decimated by a megaton blast; and, in that final holocaust, Triton, after only a few lazy strides, managed to leap through the air a good fifty feet before diving into the water to rescue his drowning wife. She lives after he pounds on her frail chest with fists that could penetrate steel.

Admittedly, this was more about macho brooding, but any good dialogue to report?

After being told that his getaway car would be a less conspicuous minivan, Morgan cries, “Man, I’m a criminal, not a soccer mom!” Later, he offers, apropos of nothing, “I hate cops! And rock candy.” He also says, after being asked where they were, “I don’t know, but it smells liked baked ass.” And finally, after numerous deaths, millions in damage, and untold havoc wreaked on an innocent landscape, Triton tells his wife, “We should have gone to the beach.” Roll credits.

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Odd bits and pieces?

With all the bottles on display — broken and otherwise — it was clear that Miller Genuine Draft was a proud sponsor. And I’m still uncertain: was it supposed to be funny when Rome, while angrily shouting demands to his fence and knee-deep in swamp mud, receives — and takes — a phone call from his cable company confirming the purchase of the premium package? And Jesus, did every non-military handgun murder have to take place off-screen? It’s okay to watch Arab terrorists plugged like pin cushions, but a hillbilly trucker, he’s taboo?

Stereotypes reinforced?

Hot chicks love diamonds. I mean really love diamonds. And they’ll kick, slap, and kill anyone who stands in the way of a fine piece of jewelry. Apparently, black men do not drive minivans. Ever. Cars, in fact, just might be their kryptonite. And while the black man was also the most homophobic, this had more to do with being fucked up the ass at summer camp by a dude named “Johnny Whiplash” than any irrational bigotry. And yes, every single employee of the chop-shop was black. Fine, two were Mexican.

Anything else to let you know it was a WWE production?

Gorgeous bimbo with balloon-like tits? Check. White Zombie on the soundtrack while bodies burned and cars raced down the highway? Yes, sir. Firmly held shot of a hottie with a gun tucked in her ass crack? Uh-huh. A masterfully choreographed fight in a meth lab with more grunts and groans than a Bay Area bath house? Done and done.

About Matt

Matt is the site’s Longest Serving Critic and chief misanthrope. He divides his time between classics of cinema and the most ridiculous movies he can find on Redbox.
Follow Matt: @mattcale52