The Marine

It should come as no surprise to anyone that The Marine is bad. No, that's not bad as in "bad-ass". If you had high expectations for this film you're either a deluded wrestling fan or you just haven't been paying attention. Spending three seconds with the movie's trailer should have been enough to warn you off. What is surprising is that The Marine isn't epically bad, it's not a stinker of mammoth proportions. It's merely crappy and all the credit for that should go to Robert Patrick and his gang of wacky villains. More on that in a minute.

The movie opens with a Marine rescue sequence that can only be described as a military propaganda video. Luckily it's over soon and gets right on with the business of exploring John Cena's two facial expressions. Some people might say he only has one, but if you look closely you'll find two. The first is the most obvious, mule-headed stubbornness. The other is more subtle, but I'd describe it as barely constrained confusion.

Cena plays John Triton the titular Marine, or rather ex-marine, a guy discharged from the service for disobeying orders to save his friends and now forced to settle down in civilian life. But what's a guy with so many muscles supposed to do? He certainly doesn't look comfortable sitting on a couch. Triton needs someone to kill, and the movie's script wastes no time in finding him a target. His wife ends up kidnapped by a gang of diamond thieves, they take her as a hostage for no discernable reason. He pursues, first in a car, and then later on foot through a crocodile-free (but alligator infested) swamp.

The thieves are led by the venerable Robert Patrick, at his most manic. His killer compadres are a wacky crew of lunatic misfits and every time they're on screen there's some form of hilarious entertainment to be had. They're great. Seriously, as a killer comedy team these guys are genius. Unfortunately the rest of the movie isn't.

The action's a bust, a slow motion wad of unbelievable flames and body slamming. Cena's a total dud, he doesn't so much act as stare blankly at his opponents. He doesn't even look like a Marine, he's got the build of a roided out construction worker not a lethally trained killer in Uncle Sam's service. His fingers are like cucumbers, so large they're almost incapable of doing things like grasping. His arms are so muscled they're almost immobile, in battle the guy looks a lot like an angry Tyrannosaurus.

If you're headed out to see The Marine, you know what to expect. It's a movie geared specifically for Cena fans, and thus by extension wrestling fans. Already used to bad acting, lame action, and unbelievably stupid stories they'll probably love it. Enjoy. Everyone needs a guilty pleasure.

Josh Tyler