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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Military > The Marine (2006/DVD-Video + Blu-ray)

The Marine (DVD-Video + Blu-ray)


Picture: C+/B-     Sound: B-/B     Extras: B     Film: C



The Marine feels like it's right out of the mid-1980s when action films were ruled by one-man-armies embodied by the likes of Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Chuck Norris.  But those similarities are clearly intentional, right down to having the trailer for Commando (1985) starring Schwarzenegger present on The Marine on the DVD edition.  This release has been issued in both regular DVD and the high def Blu-ray format.


Produced by Vince McMahon's WWE Films and starring WWE champion John Cena, John Bonito’s The Marine (2006) is derivative in the extreme, but some good stunt work and humorous touches in the script -- such as references to Deliverance and co-star Robert Patrick saying, "This guy's like The Terminator" -- make it a lot more tolerable than it could have been.


The muscular Cena stars as John Triton, a U.S. Marine who saves many of his own men in Iraq after defying an order.  Despite saving the lives of fellow Marines, Triton is still unceremoniously kicked out of the corps for disobeying an order.  But when he gets back home to South Carolina, he barely has time to make love to his wife (Kelly Carlson) before she ends up getting kidnapped by a group of ruthless diamond thieves on the lam (led by Patrick of Terminator 2 fame).


Of course, Triton will then go into one-man-army mode and dispose of the bad guys one by stinking one while trying to save the little lady.  Lots of explosions, big explosions, ensue.


The Marine brings to mind something Cannon Films might have made 20 years ago starring someone like Michael Dudikoff, albeit with better production values.  But in a day and age when most action films have become overwhelmed by unconvincing CGI, there's something almost nostalgic about an actioner like The Marine that simply relies on old-fashioned stunt work and pyrotechnics.


And I'll give McMahon this much: It's refreshing to see a movie (even one as preposterous and predictable as this) that without reservation celebrates a member of U.S. armed forces heroically during a real-life time of war when much of Hollywood seems to sympathize with America's enemies.


Fox's DVD of The Marine presents the film in both its PG-13 theatrical cut and an Unrated cut.  Both versions are presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen with 5.1 Dolby Surround sound, while the Blu-ray offers only the Unrated version in 1080p MPEG-2 @ 21 MBPS digital High Definition video from the HD shoot.  The DVD is on the soft side, with limited color and detail, while the Blu-ray shows the limits of the HD shoot more than expected.  The Dolby mix on both discs are not bad, but typical of Dolby mixes for action films with much boom and little character.  The English Dolby is not on the Blu-ray, but DTS HD Master Audio lossless 192kHz/24-Bit 5.1 is and it is the best sound playback, but even the upcoming DTS HD chip is not going to save the mix from being anything more than adequate.


Extras in both versions include several featurettes, the original theatrical trailer (which is exclusively HD on the Blu-ray), footage of the World Premiere at Camp Pendleton and some WWE promotional features.  Cena is yet another would-be action hero who could be the next big thing if he can break free of formula and bad scripts.  With no True Lies sequel on the way, he should take advantage while he has the chance.



 - Chuck O'Leary and Nicholas Sheffo


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