Movie Review – The Marine 4

So why on Earth would I watch the fourth installment of a straight to video movie series?  And why on Earth am I actually reviewing it?  Well, why not?  The other WWE film reviews I’ve done here have been fairly popular as far you guys clicking on them, my DVR was empty, and I had some time to kill on a Saturday afternoon.  I also wanted to get through this one so I could watch Marine 5 without missing anything.  Yeah, I know…….   

Anyhow, how would this one go?  Is it another meh entry or would we finally get a decent movie and not just a decent low budget movie starring a wrestler and a bunch of no names?  Most of these WWE studios films are designed to be just interesting enough to hold your attention for 90 minutes without exposing how limited whoever they cast in the lead role is as an actor.  With the exception of John Cena, who has gone on to become a legit actor since starring in the first Marine film, few if any of these guys are going to be in anything not set up by the WWE.  This was the second Marine film with the Miz in the lead role as former Marine Jake Carter, and it also features former WWE women’s wrestler Summer Rae in a supporting role.

Synopsis

Jake, no longer enlisted and now working for a private security company, is part of a protective detail for a whistleblower named Olivia Tanis (Melissa Roxburgh), who is set to testify against her defense contractor employer, aptly named the Genesis Defense Corporation, to expose several traitors in their midst.  As you would expect, things go bad really quickly and the gang gets decimated by a band of mercs who have been hired to get rid of Tanis before she can talk.  She and Jake survive and go on the run while being pursued by the bad guys, and all kinds of hi-jinks ensue before we get the inevitable big showdown to wrap everything up.

Likes

This movie harbors no illusions about what it is.  This is about fistfights, chases, and shootouts.  They got to the point quickly and stayed with it throughout.  No attempts at emoting, or enlightenment here; other than Tanis’ trust issues with Jake there’s no drama here.  Maybe that’s because this is a sequel with only one returning character, or maybe it’s because of the budget and the short run time, but who cares.  If you have a straight to video movie starring a pro wrestler it’s best to keep it to what he can do best – beat people up and talk tough.  But to his credit, Miz does a legit good acting job here and is convincing enough as a former Marine turned security guy.  And they did the right thing with Roxburgh here in that they didn’t have her spouting a bunch of tech lingo to try and sound like an expert, but did give her enough to do so that she wasn’t relegated to looking pretty and playing the damsel in the distress.  And thank God there was no forced romantic subplot here.  It’s beyond a cliche at this point in these kind of movies and isn’t really necessary so kudos for not trying to shoehorn that in here.

Dislikes

Not a lot, to be honest.  My biggest gripe was that the teased big fight between Jake and the toughest of the mercs, played by Josh Blacker, didn’t last very long once it happened.  And while the short run time and sticking to basics averted any cringe worthy moments, it also took away the chance for any kind of depth that distinguishes between ok movies and good to great ones.

Other Stuff

The usual beats that these movies have were at play here – marksmanship that comes and goes for the bad guys, the ladies staying perfectly coiffed and made up throughout except for when the time comes for them to get roughed up a bit, etc.  That’s par for the course here so it’s neither a plus or a minus.  You know what you came for if you chose to watch this.

Overall Grade: 7.0

They did what they came to do here.  No more and no less.  But unlike their previous offerings they kept all the fluff out and the end result was a better movie.  Given whose in it that was the right call but it puts a low ceiling on just how good it could be even while keeping the floor in a reasonable place.  All in all, its very well suited for an afternoon viewing if you got nothing else to watch and you just want to see something quick before you head off to do something else.

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