Every so often, one gets in the mood for some junk food, or a particular flavor of junk food - like action junk. The films aren't good, but they aren't meant to be, and when one is in the right mood, they can offer a ridiculous, mindless way to pass the time.
"The Marine 2" (a sequel to the original that was a theatrical release, and starred wrestler John Cena) is a high carb offering from the WWE film production company, starring wrestler Ted Dibiase, Jr. as Tom Linwood, a marine on holiday with his wife at a new resort property.
Not surprisingly, a gang of bad guys soon storms the resort, taking nearly everyone hostage. Of course, Tom manages to escape, but his wife remains one of the hostages. This sets into motion Tom's plan to take out the enemies one-by-one and save the hostages. The film's action sequences are reasonably well-staged for a DTV feature (although some elements certainly look done on the cheap, which - again - is not too much of a surprise from a DTV release.) Although corners appear to have been cut in a number of places, the film throws out more than a few explosions and a handful of fairly sizable action sequences.
The performances are - well...performances? Wrestler Dibiase's character has a last name of Linwood, and it's not far off from the description of the actor's performance. While the wrestler certainly could have been worse, he gives a performance that's often flat and on the generic side. Better are Temuera Morrison and Michael Rooker in supporting efforts, as the two manage to make more out of the script than Dibiase.
Overall, "Marine 2" has all the ingredients of junk food cinema - plenty of explosions, a mixed bag of performances, an absurd script, an over-amped score and more than a few amusing action movie cliches. This certainly isn't flawless, but as B-movie action goes, it's a passable way to pass a cold, snowy afternoon.
VIDEO: "The Marine 2" is presented by 20th Century Fox in 1.85:1 (1080p/AVC). This is not a presentation without some mild concerns, but it's a fine transfer of the material. Sharpness and detail are above-average throughout most of the film, although some scenes can appear mildly soft.
Some issues are seen at times, such a handful of instances of mild edge enhancement visible. Some scenes also show light-to-moderate noise. A few tiny specks were also seen on the print used. Colors looked okay during most of the film, but occasionally could look a tad flat.
SOUND: The film's DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack offers explosions aplenty and all manner of action audio. The film's sound mix isn't as slick as most big-budget action pictures, but still manages to use the surrounds to good effect to deliver gunfire, ambience and other elements. Audio quality was fine, with deep bass, well-recorded effects and clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: The main supplement is a series of featurettes: "East Meets West: Muay Thai Fight", "Production Paradise: Filming in Thailand", "Building a Legacy: Ted's Story", "Play by the Roels: Inside the Production", "The Last Resort: Inside the Terrorist Siege" and "Village Virtuoso: The Final Fight". Also offered are deleted/extended scenes, deleted footage montage and fight outtakes.
Final Thoughts: "The Marine 2" certainly has its share of flaws, but as a junk food B-movie actioner, it provides a decent way to pass an afternoon. The Blu-Ray offers satisfactory video quality, enjoyable audio and an assortment of minor extras. Dibiase fans may want to try a rent.
The Film C-