The Marine (2006)

Rating: B-

Dir: John Bonito
Star: John Cena, Robert Patrick, Kelly Carlson, Anthony Ray Parker

Gosh, I love action movies that are as dumb as stumps and, make no mistake, this one may set a new record. I think the moment of realization in this case, was where the hero (Cena, playing a character called John, just to save any confusion) is driving his car in hot pursuit of the villains, who are unleashing so many bullets at him and his car, that the only conceivable delivery method is a fire-hose. Naturally, the vehicle is shot to hell – though still keeps going – but John is unhurt. Because he holds a flak-jacket in front of him with one hand, while driving with the other. Brilliant!

Admittedly, I don’t know why he bothers, since the rest of the movie makes clear that he is entirely indestructible, capable of surviving whenever where he is blows up, without a scratch. Which it does. Multiple times. And, on each occasion, from multiple angles. The plot? Oh, if you insist. Rome (Patrick) and his gang of jewel thieves on the run, kidnap John’s wife (Carlson) “as insurance” – even if calling Geico would have been better. For he single-handedly hunts them down, through the swamps of South Carolina. Or Louisiana. It’s not important.

Would it be churlish to mention John is tossed out of the armed forces early on? I guess The Ex-Marine wasn’t so catchy a title. Patrick, and to a lesser extent his crew, help rescue the film, since they show more personality that Cena, even when delivering the prime Cheddar which passes for dialogue here. This lurches from one over-the-top action sequence to another, barely pausing for breath, and never for logical thought. I had a blast with its ludicrous, if PG-13 rated excess, and as a loving homage to the early works of Governor Schwarzenegger, I don’t think I’ve seen such a throwback in years.