Monday, 5 July 2010

The Marine 2

THE MARINE 2 (2009)
Directed by: Roel Reine
Written by: Christopher Borelli & John Chapin Morgan
Starring: Ted DiBiase Jr, Lara Cox, Temuera Morrison & Michael Rooker

The Marine was a ridiculously over-the-top, fun slice of action cheese that saw wrestling star John Cena get his first action starring role. Harking back to the uncomplicated, blow-shit-up days of the 1980s, The Marine was action fueled absurdness and a whole heap of fun. It now gets its own sequel, in name only, and sees another wrestling star, this time Ted DiBiase Jr, take the lead for another go around of heavy action antics.

Much like the first but more serious and violent and without the excessive CGI touches, The Marine 2 is a straightforward lone-man-must-rescue-his-girlfriend exercise in action heroics. Joe (DiBiase) is one tough marine who after a mission gone slightly awry goes on vacation with his wife to some tropical resort out in the middle of nowhere. Said resort is promptly taken over by Temuera Morrison and his bandits, for some reason or another, holding Joe's wife and a bunch of other people hostage. So, Joe swiftly resorts to marine mode and infiltrates the resort to rescue his wife, kill the bad guys and well and truly blow shit up.

Jettisoning the tongue-in-cheek nature of the original, The Marine 2 is a much more serious affair with none of the jokey bad guy antics from the awesome Robert Patrick seen in The Marine. It's also a lot more violent meaning the action is more grounded compared to the original's over-the-top stunt heavy nature. This may disappoint fans of The Marine as part of it's fun was the over-the-top nature. However, the different style works in The Marine 2's favour, giving it an identity of its own. Plus, it's just as jam packed with action as The Marine was.

Director Roel Reine makes the most of his budget making the film look extremely professional and orchestrating some impressive mayhem. While some of the bigger shoot-outs may be a little rough around the edges, Reine sure knows how to use his camera: wide shots and sweeping shots capturing every angle of the action. A great one take action sequence involving the capture of the resort is creative and exciting and the extended chase/fight finale along the stick supported platforms and houses out over open water is thrillingly staged. Likewise, an amazing fight between DiBiase and two bad guys is breathlessly choreographed, filmed (again, using mostly one take) and put together.

Despite the routine plot, the main star's lack of charisma, old hats Morrison and Rooker obviously just collecting pay cheques, The Marine 2 is elevated above most quick cash in sequel dreck thanks to assured direction and lots of impressively staged action. Roll on The Marine 3.

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