WWE Films has been extremely hit or miss since it’s inception. For every “The Rundown” you get two or three “See No Evil”s. The original Marine was one of their better efforts; A fun, big, dumb action movie that knew exactly what it was and ran with it. With the new direct to DVD sequel, they lose a lot of that fun with a movie that is extremely generic and takes itself way to seriously.
Ted Diabese Jr. takes over for John Cena as Marine Joe Linwood. After a particularly trying mission, Joe accompanies his wife to a brand new resort on an island off of Thailand. Joe’s wife Robin is the owner’s publicist and is overseeing the opening party. Of course, this is exactly when terrorists decide to seize the resort to stop the destruction of the island and get paid a tribute they feel they are owed. Joe manages to escape and spends the rest of the movie picking off the terrorists and trying to rescue his wife and the hostages.
The Marine 2 is about as generic as a Die Hard rip off can get, every character is a complete stereotype that has been seen in dozens of other movies and there is nothing at all inventive about any of the action sequences. The action sequences are mishandled a lot of the time as well, in one particular scene Joe is in a shootout with two terrorists and then they all just drop their guns and get into a fist fight. The entire scene feels like it exists just so Ted Diabese can kick a guy’s head through a cabinet.
The tone of the first Marine is what made it so much fun to watch. It knew it was ridiculous and just went for it with crazy action sequences, huge explosions and especially Robert Patrick as the scenery chewing Rome. The Marine 2 tries to go for a more realistic tone and falls flat. Minor Spoiler, but in the first 10 minutes of the movie Joe and his partner are supposed to kill an arms dealer, they succeed but a huge firefight ensues and a young boy is killed right next to Joe. The movie would want you to believe that he’s haunted by this but he just seems slightly uncomfortable as he remembers it about two times for the rest of the movie. There’s also these attempts at artyness, especially in the beginning with bizarre scene transitions and slow motion shots of hands running through water, etc. It’s just lacking in fun, which is what it should have been.
You shouldn’t have high expectations for acting when you’re talking about WWE Films but even with low expectations, The Marine 2 falls flat. Ted Diabese Jr. makes John Cena look like Daniel Day Lewis but fortunately he only has about 20 or so lines of dialogue in the whole movie. Michael Rooker shows up as a crazy old Army vet who is reluctant to get involved but, of course, he does. Temuera Morrison plays a fairly decent villain as the leader of the terrorists but he’s about the only stand out of the movie.
Overall, I was pretty bored by The Marine 2. It thinks it’s better than it is and lacks everything that made the original a fun ride. I would say definitely pass on this one.
1.5 out of 5