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WWE champion John Cena dominates the big screen as Marine John Triton. Wherever there's danger, Triton is usually smack dab in the middle of it... and he doesn't play by rules! After he's unwillingly discharged from Iraq, Triton's beautiful wife Kate ("Nip And Tuck's" Kelly Carlson) is kidnapped by merciless jewel thieves led by a vicious killer (Robert Patrick)! Now, Triton must fight to save her, utilizing his most powerful weapon himself!
For more about The Marine and the The Marine Blu-ray release, see the The Marine Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on February 15, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: John Cena, Robert Patrick, Kelly Carlson, Anthony Ray Carlson, Abigail Bianca, Anthony Ray Parker
Director: John Bonito
» See full cast & crew
The Marine Blu-ray Review
B-grade action arrives on an A-list format.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, February 15, 2008
This guy's like the Terminator.
The John Cena action vehicle The Marine is so deliciously stupid that I couldn't help but love it. There is nothing I like more than a fun, loud, and explosive action movie, and The Marine delivers. In fact, this might be the cheesiest "good" action movie since the 1980s, a decade defined by big hair and loud and ridiculous action films. Forget plot, forget good acting, forget great direction. Every now and then, all I want is a bucket full of popcorn, a Coke, and an absurd action flick to fill a Saturday afternoon. No other movie in years has come as close as The Marine in providing a "guy" movie in the truest sense of the word. To steal a line from TBS, this is definitely a movie "for guys who like movies." The Marine is quite possibly the least thought-provoking film of all time outside of any movie featuring Pauly Shore, and it revels in its inaneness. I, therefore, revel in its greatness. Taken solely for what it is, and especially since the film tries to do absolutely nothing more than blow things up and show people shooting at one another with slick looking guns and slicing one another with intricate, fancy blades, the movie is a winner.
John Triton (professional wrestler John Cena) is a marine who's recently been discharged from the Corps due to his inability to follow orders on the battlefield. When he returns stateside, he tries to blend back into society by taking a job as a security guard but finds himself suspended for roughhousing a troublemaker on his first day. He and his wife Kate (Kelly Carlson, Nip/Tuck) decide to get away from the stresses of life by taking a car trip to somewhere (Is it really important where? Here's a hint--they won't reach their destination). Meanwhile, Rome (T-1000, better known as Robert Patrick, Bridge to Terabithia) and his band of thieves are stealing millions of dollars worth of diamonds. Both the Tritons and Rome's gang find themselves at a gas station/convenience store in the middle of nowhere. When one of Rome's thugs murders a police officer in cold blood at the remote gas station, Rome decides to take Kate hostage and leaves John for dead in the store. In what is perhaps the most over-the-top car chase scene in history, John pursues Rome's gang and from here on out, John is out for blood, hunting down the thugs before they have an opportunity to kill his wife.
The opening sequence of The Marine was enough to sell me on the movie. Less than four minutes in and I was glued to my television and ready for some more. In this opening scene, John Cena is seen outside a room in Iraq with half a dozen or more terrorists who are only seconds away from executing several American hostages. He kicks in the door, screaming, runs and rolls around blasting everyone in sight, kicking and punching those he can't shoot, and tops it off by head stomping the final bad guy into oblivion. Perhaps the most over-the-top sequence in years, every cliché is represented, including lame dialogue, impossible stunts, and a one-man army defeating a room full of men with AK-47s. This is, without question, the quintessential cheesy action movie sequence. I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear, reminded of the silliness and undeniably cool factor of cheesy action. I was immediately hearkened back to the days of second-rate action stars like Dolph Lundgren and Michael Dudikoff, both of whom have provided me with countless hours of entertainment over the years. Films like Red Scorpion and American Ninja are just a boatload of fun, and The Marine can now hold its head high, joining the ranks as a permanent fixture on my action shelf, representing the ultimate in turn-your-brain-off at the door fun. Despite this film's status as an easy target for critics, I have to respectfully submit that they missed the point of the film completely, namely that there is no point to it outside of an impressive body count and spectacular explosions. Every now and then, you've just got to be able to sit back and enjoy an action film for what it is.
The Marine Blu-ray, Video Quality
Fox has released The Marine on Blu-ray in 1080p high definition and inside its original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1. As the movie begins, the viewer is bombarded by excessive grain. While I am not opposed to grain, it gets so thick as to be distracting at times, especially here where it adds nothing to the look or feel of the film, as opposed to, say, Close Encounters of the Third Kind where the inherent grain adds a certain charm and nostalgic feel to the source material. In fact, the whole first third of the movie is plagued by a less than stellar presentation. Colors are a bit drab and fine detail is marginal at best. The image seems to smear, losing definition and clarity in several early scenes. Fortunately, the quality picks up once John's wife is kidnapped and the image begins to resemble an upper tier Blu-ray release. Colors become bright and vivid, especially in later scenes that take place in marshlands. Greens are especially vibrant in these scenes, jumping off the screen with depth and excellent color reproduction. Black levels are fine throughout, but don't expect top-tier shadow detail. This transfer is mostly passable and once the image cleans itself up after the first act, there is little to complain about. The Marine is certainly one of Fox's weaker efforts to date, but it still handles itself pretty well, all things considered.
The Marine Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Never one to disappoint in the audio department, Fox once again provides listeners with a DTS- HD MA soundtrack. While the results are generally very good from beginning to end, I did notice a few trouble spots that ultimately knock this one down from "fantastic" to "very good." Fortunately, the good outweighs the bad, and right from the opening credits the viewer is smacked around Cena-style by skull-cracking bass and ever-active surround channels. Sound spreads across the entirety of the stage with both vigor and ease as boisterous effects move through the listening area. For those of you that like your action movies loud, crank this one up. Quieter scenes offer up average amounts of ambience and separation, and dialogue is never overbearing, certainly recorded at normal volumes, whereas the action effects seemed pumped up a bit in the mix. Unfortunately, the action is sometimes so loud that clarity and definition are lost. For example, the above-referenced car chase in chapter 10 showcases extremely loud and powerful music and engine effects, but gunshots sound muted in comparison, lacking any discernible "oomph," hurting the fidelity of the track, and leaving me slightly disappointed by the experience. It's just too loud for its own good, but that doesn't mean it's not mostly enjoyable and adds to the experience. For the most part, this is what you would expect from a B-grade action flick on Blu-ray, and this high-definition listening experience is rather good on the whole.
The Marine Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Fox has included a paltry helping of extras that will probably not satisfy the hardcore John Cena fans out there. First up is Declassified: The making of 'The Marine' (1080p, 11:26) featuring the makers of the film and the actors talking up this movie like it's the next Die Hard. The film is also described as an extension of the WWE action on television each week. Cena discusses how he came to be a pro wrestler and subsequently an action movie star. He comes off as a genuinely good guy and I hope we see more movies like this out of him in the future. World Premiere at Camp Pendleton (1080p, 2:36) shows the stars arriving for the film's premiere at this military base. John Cena Features (1080p, 15:23) showcases Cena's wrestling background, his appreciation for the military, a look at his training at Parris Island, South Carolina, and some of the things he does during his time off from filming the movie. There are also ten WWE Promotional Featurettes (1080p, 14:29) that look at some of the characters and scenes in the film with a bit of recycled material from pervious extras, not to mention some fluff. Finally, 1080p trailers for The Marine, Commando, The Transporter, Transporter 2, and Kiss of the Dragon conclude these extras.
The Marine Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The Marine is a big, dumb action movie and I loved it. The film is chock-full of negatives: stiff acting, lousy direction, a horrific script, questionable edits, and a completely unbelievable story, but these bad qualities are usually good signs of a great and campy action movie. I haven't seen one this ridiculous in years, and while the movie found itself sidetracked from time to time (the pointless security job act and some lame attempts at humor) I enjoyed the ludicrous action enough to overlook the shortcomings. Fox has delivered a mixed video transfer and a pretty loud but ultimately lacking sound mix to go with yawn-worthy supplements. Fans of raw, brain-numbing action should like this one plenty, and although this Blu-ray release isn't perfect, it's certainly pretty good, all things considered. Recommended for fans of 1980's-style action everywhere!
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The Marine Blu-ray, News and Updates
• The Marine 2 Headed to Blu-ray - July 27, 2009
According to reports, 'The Marine 2' will be heading to Blu-ray this holiday season, day-and-date with the DVD release. Starring pro-wrestler, and son of former pro- wrestler "The Million Dollar Man", Ted DiBiase Jr., the film is a direct-to-video sequel to ...
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