Monday, August 31, 2015

The Marine 4: Moving Target

Congratulations to Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, the first WWE wrestler to star in two consecutive MARINE movies. John Cena starred in the entertaining throwback THE MARINE, which garnered a short theatrical release through 20th Century Fox. Ted DiBiase Jr. took over the title role in the direct-to-video sequel THE MARINE II with Mizanin starring in THE MARINE 3: HOMEFRONT. To beef up the star power, WWE films gave The Miz a popular co-star, Danielle Moinet, better known to wrestling fans as diva Summer Rae.

Alan McElroy, a veteran of the HALLOWEEN and WRONG TURN franchises, took inspiration from the original MARINE and delivered another story about well-armed bad guys and a Marine chasing each other through the woods (though, finally, a MARINE movie neglects to take the hero’s loved one hostage). Jake Carter (The Miz) is one of several bodyguards assigned to protect Olivia Tanis (LEPRECHAUN: ORIGINS’ Melissa Roxburgh), a whistleblower reluctantly willing to testify against a defense contractor that built faulty body armor for American troops. Their convoy is ambushed by the defense contractor’s hired mercenaries, including leader Simon Vogel (Josh Blacker) and badass sniper Rachel Dawes (Rae), leaving only Carter and Olivia alive.

The attack happens thirteen minutes in, and everything after is pretty much one long chase and gun battle. While that may be enough to keep undiscerning action fans happy, THE MARINE 4 has little else to distinguish it. Mizanin is a poor actor, and he’s playing someone who’s kinda dumb. Roxburgh’s character is also kinda dumb and kinda mean too. While that could make for an interesting relationship — the hero who has to protect somebody he doesn’t like — McElroy and director William Kaufman (ONE IN THE CHAMBER) aren’t interested in having anybody think too much.

As for Rae, her role is minor and not proportional with her billing on the Blu-ray packaging. She has almost no dialogue and no screen presence. Kaufman’s direction is sloppy. When Vogel’s men loudly shoot up a police station with automatic weapons, cops in the next room are taken by surprise. Maybe their hearing aids were turned off. CGI explosions and muzzle fire and bullet hits are distracting, as is unconvincing day-for-night photography. Shooting a zillion bullets at a speeding pickup truck results in only a few bullet hits. The devil is in the details, William.

No comments: