Sure, Cena’s muscly, fit and quite a likeable presence on screen – still think ‘The Rock’ might have a little more charisma – but his debut vehicle, a sort-of diet-“Commando” (the one where Schwarzenegger had to blow up the girls who kidnapped his daughter), does little to induce that he’s got a long feature film career ahead of him.
John Cena, Kelly Carlson, Robert Patrick, Jerome Ehlers, Manu Bennett, Anthony Ray Parker, Robert Coleby
“He’s like the Terminator”, one of the villains of “The Marine” utters.
Um, no, he isn’t.
Its hard to say why the line was put in the movie – some may say its an in-joke; what with “Terminator 2” star Robert Patrick playing the film’s villain – but I’m assuming it’s the producers way of saying ‘Look, here’s John Cena – he’s the new Schwazenegger’. It’s a very confident statement, and considering this is Wrestler Cena’s first movie out of the gate – and it isn’t a very good one at that – a premature proclamation, too.
Sure, Cena’s muscly, fit and quite a likable presence on screen – still think ‘The Rock’ might have a little more charisma – but his debut vehicle, a sort-of diet-“Commando” (the one where Schwarzenegger had to blow up the guys who kidnapped his daughter), does little to induce that he’s got a long feature film career ahead of him.
Granted, the faults of the film may lie on its dreadful script. Written by Michell Gallagher and Alan McElroy – yep, it took two writers! – It’s essentially a stale one-note offering about a former Marine (Cena) whose girlfriend is kidnapped at a petrol station by on-the-run mobsters (Robert Patrick leading the charge). The Marine then tracks the bad guys into the jungle, ultimately cornering them at an old shack. And that’s about it.
With smart-ass one liners, the inability to decide whether it’s supposed to playing it serious or playing it for laughs, and some of the most wooden dialogue to ever grace an action movie (and that includes some of Schwarzenegger’s early efforts), it really is, pretty woeful.
The Australian backdrop looks nice on film, but not for a second can you pretend its somewhere in North Carolina. It looks too much like the back roads leading up to Warner Bros Movie World or the strip outside Jupiter’s Casino in Surfers. This isn’t America. (If the dodgy American accents of some of Australia’s most recognizable actors doesn’t tip you off).
Something I did enjoy about the movie though is the direction (John Bonito has a big future ahead of him) but more so, the cinematography. It’s beautiful. The close-ups, the zooms…. Some of the wide-angle shots…they look amazing. In a better movie, the cinematographer’s work wouldn’t go unnoticed. Yet here, it will. Like the film itself.
Reviewer : Clint Morris