Plot: John Triton (John Cena) is a dedicated soldier, but because he ignored orders to protect innocent lives, he has been discharged from service. Now he feels aimless and lost, as he assumed his Marine career would define his life, but he finds himself off that track and disillusioned. He is able to find work in the security field, but again runs into issues when he refuses to let a creep off the hook, so now he is suspended and no better off than before. His wife Kate (Kelly Carlson) suggests a countryside vacation to ease his mind and help boost his spirits, so the couple heads out to soak in the sunshine and enjoy the great outdoors. But a routine gas station stop turns into a horrific ordeal when John happens to fill up at the same time as some ruthless criminals, who murder several locals and kidnap his wife, then send the entire station up in a massive explosion. This sends John into soldier mode and he is hot on the trail of the crooks, but can he take down an entire heist crew on his own?
Entertainment Value: You can tell The Marine was inspired by the big, dumb, loud action movies of the 80s, as it walks a similar path and drops all pretense of story to pursue shoot outs, explosions, and copious amounts of cheese. If you want a serious, grounded action movie, this isn’t even close, but if you just want to hear terrible dialogue and watch stuff blow up, The Marine delivers. I mean, the movie has an endless chain of various things exploding in slow motion while someone either walks away or leaps to safety, to the point it feels like a fetish. I happen to think this is great, especially when used to such ridiculous level of excess as this, plus in one such scene, Cena performs a dolphin style leap that defies all logic and reason. The narrative is paper thin and never even tries to incorporate common sense or logic, as Cena is just switched into one man army mode and unleashed on the villains. Cena is fine in the lead, a capable action hero and while his acting is atrocious, that suits the material well and in truth, he isn’t asked to do much at all. Robert Patrick is hilarious as one of the most casual villains you’ll see, his presence adds a lot to The Marine. So if you like dumb, over the top, 80s style action, The Marine is well worth a look.
No nakedness. There’s an awkward scene where one of the thugs hints at some summer camp molestation, complete with Deliverance banjo notes, but no naked flesh on screen in this one. No blood. But as I said, The Marine piles on the unrealistic, over the top action in glorious, frequent doses. The fights are like cartoon dust ups, the shoot outs are ridiculous, the car chases are super fun, and of course, the explosions are simply epic, some of the coolest looking slow motion explosions around. And like I said, these slow motion bursts happen often and the one where Cena does a super human, dolphin inspired leap is magical. A lot of movies claim to deliver 80s style action, but this is one movie that delivers. Cena has no charisma or screen presence, but he is still fun to watch as a kind of living blank slate, while Patrick eats up scenes as our villain and delivers most of the best lines. One of the henchmen is obsessed with turning every situation into a racial issue, which also leads to some humorous moments, not to mention the very odd summer camp molestation reveal. As for craziness, there’s enough fun lines and over the top action to earn a couple points.
Overall Insanity: 2/10