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The Marine 3: Homefront(2013)
Sergeant Jake Carter (WWE Superstar Mike "The Miz" Mizanin) of the Marine Corps' Special Operations unit is returning home to his small rural town after a dangerous covert mission in Central America. He's looking forward to spending quality time with his two sisters, dependable Amanda (Camille Sullivan) and young, rebellious Lilly (Ashley Bell). Jake's homecoming is short-lived when Lilly and her boyfriend are kidnapped and he's forced to put his military skills to the test to save them. Taken by Jonas Pope (Neal McDonough), a former college professor turned extremist determined to unleash an elaborate terrorist attack on American soil, Carter will do whatever is necessary to save his sister and stop a madman before it's too late.
For more about The Marine 3: Homefront and the The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray release, see the The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray Review published by Casey Broadwater on March 12, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, Ashley Bell, Neal McDonough
Director: Scott Wiper
» See full cast & crew
The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray Review
The Miz goes vigilante.
Reviewed by Casey Broadwater, March 12, 2013
WWE Studios' straight to video Marine series—now a trilogy—harkens back to the big, dumb, low-budget action shoot-em-ups of the 1980s. Remember Cannon Films, the B-movie production company responsible for The Delta Force, Missing in Action, and the Death Wish sequels? The WWE seems to be aping the general aesthetic of the Cannon back catalog—explosions and gunfire galore, minimal plotting, and a brawny, meat-hunk of a hero who doles out the carnage with the requisitely extreme prejudice. In The Marine 3: Homefront, pro-wrestler Michael "The Miz" Mizanin fills the combat boots previously occupied by Ted DiBiase Jr. and John Cena. And whaddaya know, he's the first halfway decent actor to be recruited for the franchise from the WWE ranks. Don't get me wrong, he's no Brando—hell, he's no Steven Seagal—but he can at least give a fairly believable line reading in between the hardcore beatdowns and blow-ups. (Which, let's face it, is really all the role requires.) Is the movie formulaic? Aggressively. Is it more concerned with its body count than character development. Oh, hell yes. But somehow—and although this isn't saying much—Homefront is better than its clunky predecessors by a country mile. I repeat: this isn't saying much.
The Miz plays Jake Carter, a good old boy who joined the Marine Corps to get out of his podunk hometown of Bridgeton, Washington, a small lumber burg that's basically Twin Peaks minus the dancing dwarf and Killer Bob. When the film begins, Jake comes back to Bridgeton on a two-week leave to visit his sisters, the responsible Amanda (Camille Sullivan) and the batty, can't-hold-down-a-job Lilly (The Last Exorcism's Ashley Bell). Used to high-intensity combat zones, Jake has trouble getting readjusted to civilian life. He keeps a wary eye on Lilly's weasely new boyfriend, Darren (Jeffrey Ballard)—"Jake," Lilly says, "you're not my dad. Roger that?"—and gets in a throwdown bar fight his first evening in, much to the disapproval of his high school best bro, police chief Harkin (Jared Keeso).
This grizzled vet just isn't content with a relaxing va-cay, drinking Miller High Life and eating rib-eye steaks and potato salad. He's antsy for excitement. You get a feeling he's almost relieved when Lilly and Darren witness a murder and are kidnapped by Pope (Neal McDonough), a philosopher-turned- homegrown terrorist who's angry about banks and home foreclosures—or something—and has plans to blow up a convention center in Seattle during a meeting of the country's biggest financial bigwigs.
Pope and his lackeys are camped out on a derelict ferry in what appears to be a semi-aquatic junkyard. (Admittedly, a pretty cool location for such a low-budget movie.) With knowledge of his sister's last-known whereabouts, Jake sets out to rescue her, initially unaware that the FBI is also closing in on Pope's lair. Of course, Jake tangles with the Bureau's agents and is told to stay at HQ, but he doesn't take kindly to orders when his sis' life is on the line. While the FBI's SWAT unit mans an all-out assault on the front of the ferry, Jake sneaks around back with only a revolver, capping sentries, stabbing a dude in the chest with a piece of rebar, and generally manhandling anyone who gets in his way. He's like Arnie in Commando— vastly outnumbered, but by poor-shot thugs who can't seem to get a bead on him with their assault rifles.
The whole shebang has the look and feel of a video game mission, from the rusty ferry setting and stereotypical characters down to The Condemned director Scott Wiper's use of POV action cams during the big shootout sequence. (Apparently, the production broke some kind of record by firing over 10,000 rounds of ammo during a single day of shooting.) The video game vibe is increased by the fact that The Miz, with his hulking biceps and tight shirt, often looks remarkably like frequent Resident Evil series protagonist Chris Redfield. I don't know if he has a career in acting ahead of him, but The Miz handles the physical stuff capably—as expected—and is decently natural in the film's few quieter scenes. More interesting, though, is Band of Brothers' Neal McDonough, who gives the movie a gravity it would otherwise lack, playing what amounts to a more-charismatic version of the Unibomber. The other actors vary from so-so to forgettable.
Scripted by Declan O'Brien—the guy behind most of the awful Wrong Turn sequels—The Marine 3: Homefront has the sort of strictly routine story that's really only successful at stringing together a few semi-competent action scenes. It's all very small-scale and stripped down—the action movie equivalent of a SyFy channel original, basically. Fans of the series will be reasonably entertained—and more likely to overlook the film's shortcomings—but I'd caution you newcomers to lower your expectations. Then again, this is a straight-to-video movie starring a pro-wrestler whose catchphrase is "I'm The Miz, and I'm awesome." How high could your expectations be?
The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray, Video Quality
Its predecessors were shot on non-anamorphic Super 35mm, but Homefront moves the series into the digital age, which has its own plusses and minuses. The film's 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer is generally sharper than the previous films, with easily visible fine detail in facial and clothing textures, and color is balanced and dense. The image is a bit slicker too; if the other movies had a gritty, definitely-shot-on-film look, Homefront —shot predominantly on Red Epic cameras—is clearly a digital production. From a normal viewing distance, source noise is only ever visible in the darker scenes. For the most part, there are no real issues with the usual culprits—banding, DNR, edge enhancement—but the ferry shoot-out sequence does feature some footage taken from small POV action cams, most likely GoPros, which is noticeably compressed and has a distinct rolling-shutter wobbliness. There's also some odd standard definition stock footage here and there. Overall, the picture is about what you'd expect from one of 20th Century Fox's straight-to-video titles—the cinematography sometimes looks cheap, but there are few technical flaws in the presentation.
The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Homefront arrives on Blu-ray with a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track that, like the movie itself, is functional but never outright impressive. This is an action movie, so you can expect a few potent explosions, as well as gunshots that spit through the soundfield directionally, but it's also a low-budget action movie, with generic low-budget sound design and a driving, tries-too-hard-to-be-dramatic rock soundtrack. Ambience is quiet, when it's existent at all, and most of the sound is anchored up front. It's the sort of TV-quality mix you might hear on an episode of 24— good for what it is, but not up to big budget movie standards. Clarity-wise, there are no problems, and dialogue is always balanced and easy to understand. The disc also includes a French Dolby Digital 5.1 dub, along with English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles, which appear in white lettering.
The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Instead of Homefront, The Marine 3 could've aptly been subtitled Generic Military-Themed Vigilante Shoot-Em-Up. Still, it's better than its predecessors, especially The Marine 2, which was a torture akin to cinematic waterboarding. The Miz ain't bad here, and the movie benefits greatly from having Neal McDonough—a legitimately good actor—as its Timothy McVeigh-meets-Unibomber villain. Although 20th Century Fox's Blu-ray release is decent for a straight-to-video title—it even comes with about 45 minutes of bonus material—I wouldn't recommend a purchase unless you're already an unrepentant fan of the series.
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The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Marine 3: Homefront Blu-ray - January 22, 2013
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and WWE Studios have officially announced that they will release a combo pack edition of Scott Wiper's The Marine 3: Homefront (2013), starring Neal McDonough, Ashley Bell and Michael Eklund. The release will be available ...
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