The Marine 3 is yet another forgettable action-thriller with basic fight sequences, a hero played by a bland wrestler-turned-actor and a villain with schemes which, thanks to the limited budget, are cut down to an awful finale. The Blu-ray at least offers an average set of features and video/audio transfers that are on the satisfactory side. If you’re a wrestling fan and you like “The Miz”, then this might be worth a rental, otherwise just skip this turkey.
Fox | R – 90 min. – $29.99 | March 5, 2013
Directed by: Scott Wiper
Writer(s): Scott Wiper and Declan O’Brien (written by)
Cast: Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, Neal McDonough, Ashley Bell, Michael Eklund
Features: Featurettes, DVD Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.78
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 28.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.0/5
WWE Studios continues to assault the public and attempts to place their wrestlers in starring roles. The first in this series, The Marine released in 2006, starred John Cena; the direct-to-video sequel starred Ted DiBiase and now the third entry, The Marine 3: Homefront features Mike Mizanin aka “The Miz”, an “actor” with the personality of a wet paper bag.
Mizanin plays Jake Carter a Sergeant with the Marine Corps back home in a small Washington state town on a two week leave. Upon arrival, he’s picked up by best friend and town police chief Harkin (JARED KEESO) and drive him home to meet up with sisters Lilly (ASHLEY BELL) and Amanda (CAMILLE SULLIVAN), with Lilly being a bit of a wild child having recently lost a job and is dating a man whom Jake has no love for. Jake gets into a bit of trouble himself after trying to readjust to civilian life but is a miserable failure after beating the crap out of a redneck at the local watering hole. Of course, Harkin bails him out of trouble so he apparently doesn’t receive aggravated assault charges.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to our villain: Jonas Pope (NEAL MCDONOUGH), as he and his crew rob a bank. They take some of the movie but place the rest on the floor and light it on fire; it’s pretty obvious the writers drew inspiration from The Dark Knight… Later we find our fiends at their lair: an abandoned fairy where they’ve set up a base of operations and a grand master plan which is only revealed later on, although it doesn’t matter (more on that in a bit).
So while everybody is pissed at Jake for being so controlling, Lilly and boyfriend Darren (JEFF C. BALLARD) just so happen to be in the vicinity of the fairy as Darren tries to fix his jeep using spare parts at the junk yard. While doing so, they witness a meet and greet by Jonas as he buys some high-grade explosives but lo and behold, not everything goes as planned when the dealer wants more money than had been agreed upon and not wanting to renegotiate, Jonas pops a cap in the dude’s head. Witnessing this, Lilly screams thus revealing their location and soon enough the bad guys have captured the couple but not before Lilly makes a call to Amanda who in turn calls Jake. Not sure why Lilly didn’t just call 911, that’s something I would do if I saw someone get shot, but OK…
Now our Marine Sergeant’s instincts kick in and Jake is on the hunt. In the phone call, luckily Lilly told her sister her location and there, Jake sees a man disposing of the body our bad guy had killed, he gets the jump on the thug although another unnamed and generic thug gets the jump on Jake. Of course, being the badass he is, Jake easily disposes of the two and gets back on track to the villain’s HQ where he encounters a man he thought was a thug but was in fact an FBI agent. Apparently the Feds had been staking out the ship, and until Jake informed them, didn’t even know they were holding two hostages; this is right in line with what the Feebs do in this film.
So after a speech by Jonas to Lilly, as a way to reveal his motives, the action is on after the FBI gets mowed down by Jonas and his men and Jake takes matters into his own hands to rescue his sister and takes out Jonas and his merry band of lame domestic terrorists. Yeah, there’s some side stuff with an undercover agent and some tension between Jake and the lead FBI agent, but it’s all immaterial since we know Jake is there to kick ass, kill and not take any names along the way. Oh, and that whole master plan? Well, Jonas explains it but it never even comes close to fruition and leads to one of the lamest and laziest endings I’ve encountered in quite some time, including a pussified and awful final confrontation between Jake and Jonas.
The Marine 3: Homefront is a quick cash grab from Fox and frankly, it makes the first movie look like a masterful action flick. Mike Mizanin might have a powerful personality in the ring and even on camera in candid form, but the man cannot act and has zero personality which makes it hard to even enjoy the fight scenes which all have a been there, done that feel to them. Mizanin is so bland here, he makes Steve Austin and Dolph Lundgren look like thespians by comparison.
So with such a bland main character, there’s not much to go with. Neal McDonough is adequate in the stereotypical villain role and although I’m sure he took the gig to pay down his mortgage, he does at least seem to have some fun with the role and offers a breath of life into an otherwise subpar action film.
The Marine 3 was written by Declan O’Brien, whose resume includes Wrong Turn 3-5 in the director’s chair, and Scott Wiper who also helmed this picture. To be honest, they obviously knew what this was and that’s a pretty basic action-adventure that serves as a vehicle for the WWE once again and a cash grab for a movie that will be just as forgotten as the previous two entries. That being said, I’d be hard pressed to call this a terrible film but with its limited budget, it had far grander action sequences which never come to fruition and instead ends with an insular finale.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.0/5
Shipwrecked: Breaking Down the Boat (8:05; HD) is a featurette that looks at the set design of the villain’s lair and has your usual interview comments with the cast and crew as they chat about the location.
The Miz Rocks the Boat (8:17; HD) – The Miz takes the viewer’s on a tour of the fairy set. Interestingly, he’s a lot more personable here than in the actual movie.
The Miz Declassified (10:07; HD) is a part biography of the wrestler and star of the movie as he prepares for the role with the assistance of a Marine tactical advisor.
Casting Call: Ready to Enlist (7:58; HD) – This looks at the casting for the movie at a WWE Wrestle Mania event including one who got a small role.
Miz Journal (6:52; HD) – If you haven’t gotten enough of “The Miz”, well this will overflow your cup as the wrestler/actor takes the viewer through a day in the life as he goes to the set and films.
A standard, barebones DVD Copy is also included.
Previews – A Good Day to Die Hard, Broken City, Red Dawn (2012)
VIDEO – 4.25/5
The Marine 3 arrives on Blu-ray presented with a 1.78 widescreen aspect ratio and a 1080p high-def transfer. This looks similar to other direct-to-video movies looking really clean and crisp from beginning to end. There’s not a whole lot of grain so I assume this was shot digitally which lends to it looking decent but not great. On the positive side there isn’t any noticeable artifacting or pixilation so on that front is a fine transfer with good detail levels throughout.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track provided is fine but not very effective. Dialogue levels sound good and any ambient noises make use of the surround channels but there’s not a whole lot of depth when we do get to the action scenes when it includes gunfire and/or explosions, the latter of which is surprisingly front heavy and flat, revealing little depth.
OVERALL – 2.25/5
Overall, The Marine 3 is yet another forgettable action-thriller with basic fight sequences, a hero played by a bland wrestler-turned-actor and a villain with schemes which, thanks to the limited budget, are cut down to an awful finale. The Blu-ray at least offers an average set of features and video/audio transfers that are on the satisfactory side. If you’re a wrestling fan and you like “The Miz”, then The Marine 3 might be worth a rental, otherwise just skip this turkey.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.