Marine
Nothing can stop Robert Patrick. Nothing.

Theatrical Release Date: 10/13/2006
Director: John Bonito
Cast: John Cena, Robert Patrick

There was a time when wrestling stars dominated the cultural landscape. Hulk Hogan, Jesse Ventura, André the Giant, etc, etc. Of more recent notoriety, The Rock made us all smell what he was cooking and even Triple H had some small roles in feature films.

Now, one of the latest sensations to run amok in the WWE has come to claim his share of the feature film pie.

John Cena has been a champion in the sports entertainment field and is hoping that “The Marine” will propel him to super stardom.

I hope he didn’t invest any of his own money in this one because “The Marine” sucks long and it sucks hard!

Finally, a crappy, crappy film for me to enjoy.

I almost don’t know where to begin with this one. I was typing notes into my cell phone so I wouldn’t forget some of the ingenious dialogue and probably missed half the film.

Well … I wouldn’t say I missed it.

Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

So, a whole ton of ads and trailers waft across the screen while I finish off my blue raspberry Icee and the feature film is about to start.

I notice as the 20th Century Fox logo comes on screen that I’m not hearing the familiar rousing orchestration that usually accompanies the searchlights as they scan the sky above the logo.

Oh well, the sound reader will switch over once the logo has run through … or will it!?!

The opening credits start rolling and there still isn’t any sound. I don’t worry too much as I’m sure the projectionist will quickly realize something is wrong.

But they don’t and the opening scene depicting Cena’s military prowess rescuing hostages begins in silence.

Hand to hand combat, automatic weapons fire and huge explosions all go by with the same sound in my head when women ask if I’d ever like to get married.

At this point, it’s been about five minutes and I’m beginning to hope they never fix the sound because I have a suspicious feeling the words I make up in my head are far, far better than the ones written in the script.

Another five minutes go by and a manager enters the theater to say that they may not be able to fix the sound. I’m jazzed, thinking this could be the movie experience of the year … and then just after she handed out some free passes, the sound comes back on.

DAMMIT!

And so begins phase two of “The Marine”. Normally, I wouldn’t give stuff away but this movie deserves some deconstruction and you do NOT want to pay money for this one.

So, the basic plot is that for some reason or another (and who really cares), Cena is kicked out of the Marines and has to try and assimilate into civilian society. He takes up a job as a security guard and on the first day, throws a jerk out the lobby window.

He gets fired, and so naturally his loving wife suggests a road trip. Oh, subtle plot movements.

As all this is going down, enter Robert Patrick as a diamond thief with a capable but trigger happy crew. He’s driving with his cronies to meet up with a guy to fence the diamonds.

As fate would have it, Cena and his wife stop for gas at the same station Patrick is at. What are the odds!

A highway patrol officer makes the convenient mistake of stopping for snacks and strikes up an innocent conversation with Patrick. One of his gun-toting crew gets antsy and kills the cop, beginning the crazy series of events that is this film.

During the shoot out at the gas station, Cena’s wife is taken hostage and he gets into the cop car to pursue. He is so persistent that at one point, a goon yells out, “This guy’s like the Terminator!”, to which Patrick looks to the audience via the rear view mirror with a smirk.

This is the first of many, many, many farcical elements to the film.

As the trigger happiest of the bunch, Anthony Ray Parker is also the most racially paranoid. When at first presented with the option of a mini van as a getaway vehicle because it is inconspicuous, he utters “I am a black man … and that is a mini van!”

That’s only the tip of the ice berg with Parker, whose film history is quite interesting considering he’s played SEVEN different characters on both the “Xena” and “Hercules” television series (simply hilarious).

There’s a running gag with him about how uncomfortable he is about rock candy. Yes, you read that right. There’s a character in this film who hates rock candy and has no problem telling people about this little peccadillo.

So, after that line drops a few times, we finally get the payoff (I’ll quote where I can).

You see, when he was a child, he went to camp. One of the counselors was “Johnny Whiplash … a cool honkey.” He would start off sweet and befriend the kids. Then he offered them rock candy. Then he offered “something I should have never accepted”.

Yes, the filmmakers went to child molestation humor just for the fun of it.

Anywho, by now Cena is getting close to catching up to the bad guys who have taken to trekking through a swamp to elude law enforcement now that their car is wrecked.

As he begins to close the gap, two redneck drug dealers surprise and capture him. They tie him to a chair thinking he’s a cop and try to beat him into a confession. Within about twenty seconds, Cena has escaped his bonds, beaten up the two local yokels and continued on his quest to save his wife.

Let that last plot sequence sink in. For NO GOOD REASON, Cena gets captured by two unrelated characters simply to add another fight scene and delay the confrontation with the diamond thieves.

Well, he finally catches up, there’s a ridiculously easy plot twist that happens, he kills a bunch of bad people (including Patrick eventually) and saves his wife from drowning inside the cab of a semi where she had been handcuffed.

All the while, we are treated to really bad fight scenes, where the camera shifts and moves like a seizing diabetic on pixie stix, horrible stock alligator footage, a phenomenally bad script and so much mugging of the camera that I’m pretty sure charges were filed.

“The Marine” is one of those experiences best enjoyed in an empty theater with just a few of your closest friends and so much alcohol you had a hernia getting it out of the trunk of your car.

I’m giving the film a 1 out of 5 because there’s a lot to make fun of here and the filmmakers realized they might as well go goofy with Patrick and his crew because there was no way in hell people would take this film seriously.

Also, as a fun little side note, keep in mind everything I mentioned about this film and read the plot outline that IMDb lists: “A Marine returns from battle to find that his wife is ensnared in a kidnapping plot.”

Something seem off to you? Not even the great IMDb has bothered to see this film. Will you?