DTV sequels rarely please anyone other than those at the studios who see them as a way to make a quick buck. Although The Marine was a disappointment to the majority of its audience, the film did well enough in DVD sales that a sequel was soon commissioned. Once again starring a member of the WWE, this time Ted DiBiase, this film is inspired by true events and once again follows a single marine going all bad-ass on some bad guys. The premise is a bit more loaded than that, but that’s the basic premise and if you enjoy watching stuff blow up and people get their faces punched in, then you’re already in the target area for this film.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment (TCFHE) and WWE Studios present The Marine 2 – the second installment of The Marine movie franchise – debuting on Blu-ray Disc (BD) and DVD Dec. 29, 2009. Inspired by a true story, The Marine 2 was shot entirely on location in Phuket, Thailand and stars WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase as Marine recon sniper Joe Linwood. Reminiscent of the 2001 Dos Palmas incident, Linwood’s trip to paradise with his wife is suddenly shattered when guerillas take control of a secluded five-star resort asking for a substantial ransom. The guerilla leaders begin murdering hostages as the clock ticks away, forcing Joe to use his expert skills to save the hostages from certain death.
Of course the “true story” element of this film is very, very loosely attributed to this film. While it is based on the Dos Palmas incident as the synopsis states, there was no marine that saved people. Instead it ended up being quite a bloody little incident that resulted in a thousand American troops being deployed to rescue the captured. So it’s rather disingenuous to say that this is based on the incident as it pretty much has as much relation to that as Avatar has being compared to an old cowboy and Indians story. Yeah, there are similarities…but not nearly enough to make it worthwhile.
But, enough about the botched attempt at a real world parallel to this movie. Instead we must focus on what makes this film entertaining. And yes, there really are entertaining bits about the film; the first The Marine was incredibly dull to me, but this one is surprisingly well-produced, directed, and acted. Of course I say that in relation to what this is – a DTV production – so keep that in mind. It’s good for what it is, but it doesn’t hold up to anything higher than a DTV or made-for-TV production, although there is a great deal more violence in this film than the first The Marine, which is probably what made that one so lacking. Quite literally this movie is only rated R for “Violence.”
So the film isn’t a total eye-roller, but it doesn’t really do much more than kill 95 minutes of your time with mindless violence and action. Which is fine, that’s all this film is really all about. There are some “America…%^$% yeah!” moments as DiBiase kicks some serious ass (there’s even a nicely done circular camera movement that catches some genuinely impressive martial arts moves) and the subwoofer is never asleep for more than a few minutes at a time. It’s a very active type of movie that rarely lets you take a rest and for that I commend it. Just about the only thing I wasn’t completely sold on was DiBiase, as for a bad-ass he is in this movie…he really doesn’t look all that intimidating. Sure he’s got shirtless moments to show off his rippling muscles and abs, but it’s just not there in his face—he just doesn’t look nearly as intimidating as the terrorists do,. But maybe that’s what they wanted to go for in this film…a more unassuming marine that is still a full-fledged marine. Although some of the activities he engages in is kind of questionable, as I’m not entirely sure how accurate the complete lack of Kevlar being used in the field is. That just seems…off to me.
I know what you’re thinking at this point. “Wow, this movie sounds really great!” Wrong. It’s crap. But it’s not the level of crap I was expecting, hence my real lack of bashing it. I didn’t get a movie that was as bad as The Marine and despite Cena having the looks, DiBiase gets the overabundance of violence that this type of film requires. Cheap thrills to be sure, but it’s still a solid time waster if you’re in the market for such a film. Or if you just want to make sure your subwoofer is working. Worth a Rental.
Fox has released The Marine 2 on Blu-ray in a standard Elite Eco Blu-ray package. Included inside the disc and nothing else and the menu system for this film is simple and easy to navigate. There’s nothing overly exciting about the presentation here—just DiBiase in a falling gun-firing pose with stuff exploding behind him (exciting!). Oh and the big American flag behind him too, just to drive the whole “America is awesome” sentiment home. Not that I’m disagreeing with that sentiment in the least, it’s just this package (and movie) is heavy on the patriotism.
Video is a AVC (@33mbps) encoded transfer and with a full 50gb disc to breathe on, this transfer looks quite fantastic. It’s almost entirely theatrical looking in presentation, as director Roel Reine does a fantastic job doing what he can with the likely small budget on this film. The overall picture is strong, with plenty of detail and whatnot from the jungle surroundings. Colors are limited and the palette itself is over-saturated in appearance, but it’s all just to fit the “mood” of this film. Black levels are also strong and overall I was really quite impressed with the visuals of this one.
Audio is a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and…yeah, it’s loud. That’s really all I can tell you about this film. You’ll enjoy hearing it more than watching it likely, especially with all the directional effects that the surrounds get to play with as the bullets and explosions go whizzing by your ears. It’s really quite an enjoyable mix altogether and while it’s not quite demo-worthy, it’ll still bring a smile to your face on more than one occasion.
Behind-the-scenes footage of climactic fight scenes
Making of terrorist siege sequence
Profile of Ted DiBiase including interviews with Ted DiBiase Sr. and brother Brett
Inside look at Thailand film shoot
Deleted and extended scenes
No doubt about it…these extras are disappointing. They’re mostly fluff, although I found the “Profile of Ted” bit to be quite interesting. I’m not even a wrestling fan, but it was cool to hear from his family about his accomplishments and what he’s done. There are a handful of other featurettes and deleted scenes to check out, but unless you were really into the film you’ll find it not worth your time to bother with them.
Overall you can Skip this release easy.
The Marine 2 is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.