(2006)1.5Jeremy WheelerPicture a runaway semi truck barreling through a warehouse at the edge of a pier with not one, not two, but six rows of explosive gas tanks between it and the water, and only then will one begin to get into the mindset of the WWE throwback action flick The Marine. This kind of blatant homage rarely works, though somehow this sucker finds a way. While the editing has gotten choppier and the effects more expensive, the action on display here sincerely tries to tap into the same big dumb action fun mode that populated 1980s cinema -- and that's a good thing. If John Cena's character was just a bit more over the top and utilized a few juicy one-liners instead of tough-guy frowns, then this could have been a grand-slam tribute to the cheese-ball entertainment of yore. As it stands, The Marine is still a wild ride filled with laughable characters, corny dialogue, and a sea of endless explosions. In fact, so many set pieces are incinerated that when a meth lab jerks its nosy head in the middle of the film, it's almost a letdown that it isn't left in fiery ruins after the Marine gets through with it. As far as Cena goes, his performance is leaps and bounds better than his fellow wrestler Kane's was in the WWE's other production the same year, See No Evil, although there really isn't much for him to do other than yell, run, choke-slam, shoot guns, and jump away from explosions. In the other end of the cinematic ring, Robert Patrick infuses his delicious villain role with glee as he maniacally chews up one scene after another with his smooth delivery and icy glares, which only makes his awkward scenes of straight comedy that pop up whenever the score turns into a Bugs Bunny cartoon even more pathetic and unintentionally funny. Thankfully, the PG-13 pic is devoid of any recruitment mumbo-jumbo, even if it is pro-cable TV and most definitely anti-drug -- as one character repeatedly points out in his "I hate rock candy!" tirades throughout this thoroughly silly, yet explosively entertaining motion picture.
WWE Smackdown star and self-proclaimed "Doctor of Thuganomics" John Cena makes his explosive action feature debut as John Triton, an injured U.S. Marine who returns home from duty after violating a commander's order, only to have his wife kidnapped by a ruthless criminal. Robert Patrick co-stars as the villainous Rome -- who is more than willing to kill if it means staying one step ahead of the law -- and Nip/Tuck star Kelly Carlson appears as the endangered object of the vengeful veteran's affections. With nothing left to lose and enough training to take down a small army, the hard-fighting Triton sets out to rescue his wife, and ensure that the psychotic Rome receives a painful taste of Semper Fi justice. Commercial veteran John Bonito takes the rein for his feature directorial debut.