Notable Cast: Ted DiBiase, Jr., Temuera Morrison, Lara Cox, Robert Coleby, Michael Rooker
By watching this franchise backwards and starting with the third film in a silly attempt to increase the quality of each successive entry, I sure as hell didn't expect what I got with "The Marine 2." To be perfectly honest about all of the talk of 'vulgar auteurism' that has been circulating the movie interwebz, director Roel Reine's name has popped up more than a few times. Since I'm only familiar with his work on "Death Race 2" and "3," my hopes for this film being one of the great 'straight to home video' action gems was rather low. It just shows you what I know because "The Marine 2" might be big, dumb, and ultimately a low budget straight to home video actioner, but Reine injects enough charm and clever energy to lift it above the terrible film it had every right to be.
A Marine sniper Joe (DiBiase) has finally earned his time at home and his successful wife (Cox) has just the treat for him - an all expense paid trip so she can do some marketing and assisting to an asshole millionaire on his new island resort. While his adjustment back to 'real life' is a little tough, his training is going to come in handy when a group of militant terrorists take over the island and hold everyone hostage. The police seem ineffective so its up to Joe to sneak in, kill some baddies, and save the hostages before the situation gets out of hand.
|Tragic backstory? Check.
"The Marine 2" is certainly not a great film. The plot is another formulaic "Die Hard" on an island clone, DiBiase Jr. is wooden in the lead with little to no character writing to help, and the additional 'plot twists' that it springs are generic and unsurprising. The script to this film felt like something that was cooked up in a few minutes and the writing for the dialogue and characters only supports that claim. The foundational elements of "The Marine 2" are boring and formulaic while most of our cast sleep walks through the film. Well... outside of Michael Rooker as the ex-powder monkey friend who eats up the scenery like the great cult actor he is. He's a life saver in many scenes for this film. The terrorists are not all that terrifying, their motivations are often half thought through, and the various betrayals and side switching that come with these kinds of films are either completely out of the blue or terribly obvious. On paper, "The Marine 2" is the kind of film that should have never been green lit.
|New friend to help out in a pinch? Check.
|Action packed conclusion? Double check.
Written By Matt Reifschneider