While I can't say I've ever watched the WWE, expert research tells me that he's one of the more popular wrestlers in the WWE and took on Kevin Federline (which, not surprisingly, did not end well for Federline.) "The Marine" is Cena's first attempt at acting and he stars as John Triton, a marine who has recently been discharged from the armed forces and has returned home to spend time with his wife, Kate (Kelly Carlson, from "Nip/Tuck".)
Taking up a security guard gig in order to try and settle back into daily life, Triton finds getting back to regular life isn't so easy. Sad to see her husband bummed, Kate suggests that they get away for the weekend. However, things quickly head South when Kate is kidnapped by ruthless thieves at a gas station. Taking matters into his own hands (and with the police not offering much help), Triton heads out to get his wife back and take revenge on the bad guys.
This film is certainly not going to win any awards, but one has to say that "The Marine" knows its audience and knows exactly what it is. The movie is about as over-the-top as it gets, with all sorts of unnecessary stylistic choices, action scenes galore and one goofy one-liner after another. Robert Patrick ("Terminator 2", which is referenced in one of the film's endless one-liners), who plays the lead of the villians, hams it up as if he's having a great deal of fun in the role. Cena, turns in a performance that's kinda bland, although the script doesn't ask much of him and that's in comparison to the rest of the cast, who are all overacting and then some.
"The Marine" is a completely mindless action picture, with some rather goofy dialogue, ridiculous performances and thin plot. Yet, there's enough scenery chewing and explosions (the action sequences, for a small picture, are halfway decent) to keep the picture watchable and - maybe I was in the right mood for a "so bad it's somehow good" film - I was never bored.
The DVD presents both the rated and unrated editions.
VIDEO: "The Marine" is presented by 20th Century Fox in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. Picture quality throughout the show seemed just fine, as sharpness and detail remained solid throughout the film. Although a few minor instances of edge enhancement appeared, the majority of the film looked clean and clear, with no artifacting, print flaws or other issues. Colors looked bright and bold, with excellent saturation and no smearing.
SOUND: "The Marine" is presented by 20th Century Fox in Dolby Digital 5.1. Surprisingly, despite the film's almost non-stop action sequences, the film's sound design is a bit more straightforward than I'd expected. Surrounds do come into play to handle sound effects, score and ambience, but there's nothing too remarkable about their use. Audio quality was fine, with crisp dialogue and boomy sound effects. Overall, this certainly isn't a bad presentation, but it was somewhat less aggressive than one would think, given the on-screen action.
EXTRAS: A "making of" featurette, featurettes on Cena, WWE promotional featurettes, trailers and a featurette about the film's premiere at Camp Pendleton.
Final Thoughts: "The Marine" is a mindless action fest that just isn't satisfied unless things are going boom every several minutes. The film's dialogue is often terrible and the performances are way over-the-top, but the movie knows what it is and is given a boost by Patrick's enjoyably ridiculous turn as the villain. The DVD offers fine audio/video quality and an assortment of extras. Cena fans or those looking for a mindless action flick should give this a try as a rental; others should skip it.
The Film C