After returning stateside and now working as an EMT, Jake Carter (Mike "The Miz" Mizanin) finds himself trapped with an injured, marked man he's sworn to save. As a ruthless biker gang bent on revenge gains speed, Carter must use his killer Marine instincts to end the rampage . . . or die trying!
WWE Studios shows no sign of slowing down on their Marine franchise of films. Over ten years ago, WWE Superstar John Cena graced the big screen as The Marine, as he mowed through bad guys with ease. Soon after that, there was a sequel with Ted DiBiase Jr. about that same Marine hellbent on revenge. Then came along Mike 'The Miz Mizanin, who might be the best thing in pro-wrestling at the moment, and has been The Marine for the past three films, including the latest The Marine 5: Battleground. If you keep current with WWE programming, this is one long one-on-three match between The Miz and a former faction called the Social Outcasts that consisted of Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, and Heath Slater with tons of blood, guts, and guns blazing.
With these films, you can't go in expecting it to win awards of any kind. However, you can expect some funny one-liners, decent action stunts, and a ton of blood, particularly with this fifth film. We've seen this main character Jake Carter go through different scenarios and jobs. In the last film, he was a private security guy who battled ex-government commandos in the forest when he had his PTSD Marine flashback and took out every man, woman, and child who stood in his way.
In Battleground, Carter is now an EMT with a new partner named Zoe. The two respond to a 911 call about a gunshot victim. Turns out the gunshot victim and his seriously wounded friend are part of a biker gang who just did a drive-by shooting and killed a gang leader. Now that gang, consisting of the Social Outcasts, are out for revenge by any means necessary, while Carter tries to keep the bleeding out criminal, as well as his partner Zoe, alive. Taking place in a parking garage and an outdoor carnival, as well as maintaining a Sons of Anarchy vibe with biker gang rules and culture, The Marine 5: Battleground adds new life to the franchise. Let it also be known that Battleground is also the name of a PPV in the WWE Universe, but I digress. Carter seems to want to save lives throughout the film, however, when the times get tough, The Miz gets going as he hulks out and kills everyone in his path yet again.
This time, the visual effects maestros were allowed to have fun with all of the gunshot wounds and nasty gashes of bone and flesh everywhere. The story has been told many times before and there aren't many surprises that you can't see coming a mile away, but do you really need to with these films? It's just fun to see a ton of your favorite WWE Superstars get to play over-the-top movie characters and use some of their move sets on screen in an action-thriller. It works for The Rock, doesn't it? I have no doubt that WWE Studios will continue to make Marine films because they are cost-effective, fun, and give WWE Superstars a chance to work on acting and break through to Hollywood. I just hope that the next installments have a different gimmick like this one did. My suggestion, Mike The Miz Mizanin in The Marine 6: In Spaaaaaace.
Vital Disc Stats: The Ultra HD Blu-ray
The Marine 5: Battleground comes with a 25GB Blu-ray Disc that is Region A Locked. There is no insert for a digital download of the film. The disc is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve. Trailers play before the main menu.
The Marine 5: Battleground comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. This is a digitally shot film, like all of the films under the WWE banner, which doesn't have a great filmic look, but rather a glossy flat look to it. Most of the film is shot under low light conditions, whether in a dark barroom, outside at a carnival, or in a low-level parking garage. Detail is sharp and vivid throughout, particularly in well-lit closeups that show facial stubble and gory makeup effects. The leather jackets show dirt and creases nicely, but nothing seems to have a lot of depth.
Wide shots don't go soft, but again, there's nothing really spectacular about the image. Colors seem to be muted in certain scenes, which gives way to some vague looking skin tones. There is a yellowish hue in the parking garage scenes for sure, where others showcase some bright neon signs and decent primary colors. Since the film takes place at night, there isn't much in the way of anything popping off screen. Black levels are deep and inky though throughout. There aren't any major instances with aliasing or video noise, but there was some banding evident in select scenes.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and does a good job with the action on hand without being too overly loud and aggressive. Sound effects are robust and loud with gun blasts and roaring motorcycle engines that pack some great bass. There are good directionality and dynamics with these sound effects, especially the reverb and echo within the parking garage.
Punches, kicks, and takedowns sound full as well. Ambient noises of other bikers, bar noise, and other motorcycles in the background flow nicely from the rear speakers, providing a rather immersive experience. The score isn't great, but does add to the suspense of the film. Dialogue is clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, and shrills.
Evening the Odds (HD, 5 Mins.) - Cast and crew interviews along with behind the scenes footage and clips of the film discuss the making of the film and some of the stunts performed and guns used.
Superstar Studded (HD, 5 Mins.) - Most of the cast and WWE Superstars talk about being in the film and working together.
The Marine 5: Battleground sure is a fun film if you enjoy these sort of action movies or love the WWE Universe and seeing your favorite Superstars act in over-the-top roles. It's good that there is a new gimmick here and I hope they keep changing the backgrounds, jobs, and sets for future installments. This won't win any awards by any means, but it sure is enjoyable for fans. Video and audio presentations are good, but the couple extras don't show much or reveal anything important. For Fans Only!