I see no reason to give up my long held axiom: with the exception of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, professional wrestlers aren't meant to be actors. I just reviewed 'Thunderstruck' starring Kevin Durant, and the same thing goes for Mike "The Miz" Mizanin (originally from MTV's 'The Real World: Back to New York'), he can't act. It's like watching a piece of muscly cardboard run around shooting at terrorists for 90 minutes. In short, it's torture.
I guess you could call me a neglectful movie watcher since I've never seen the previous two 'Marine' movies. Since both of them also star wrestlers I don't find myself excited to search them out. I'll remain ignorant as long as I can. So, I'm jumping into the apparently illustrious 'Marine' franchise on number three, and it isn't pretty.
There are two things that can be assumed as to how this franchise made it to a third installment. Either the first two are really good movies that warranted sequels, or most likely, the first two movies were purchased by legions of WWE fans without regard to what sort of quality they contained.
'Marine 3: Homefront' (you know they're getting serious when they start adding subtitles) focuses on the return of Marine Sgt. Jake Carter (The Miz) to his small home town. Jake is on a few weeks leave and he's come back to visit his long lost family, which consists of two sisters. One sister is married to the local Sheriff, one of Jake's best friends, while the other sister is a noncommittal loser who can't keep a job and dates less than reputable guys. Jake, being the ever-loving brother with enough ego to fill a house, soon starts telling sister number two what to do with her life. Needless to say, she isn't impressed.
How funny would it be if 'Marine 3' didn't have any action in it whatsoever? What if it was just Jake arguing with his sisters for the entire runtime? That might have been more interesting than what actually happens, but we'll never know.
Now, there is a saving grace in 'Marine 3.' He has blue eyes, towhead blond hair, and seems to usually turn up whenever there is a need for a sinister looking malevolent villain. Neal McDonough everyone! His role in the third season of 'Justified' was beyond impressive. Here he plays Jonah Pope a domestic terrorist who distains capitalism and is totally going to teach all those fat cats a lesson they'll never forget. Basically, he's Robert Quarles-lite, only a lot less pedophile-y.
Jake soon finds himself shooting it out with Pope's seemingly endless array of unwashed militia henchmen. The action scenes are as generic as they come. And the director, in his infinite wisdom, does the same exact thing every director does when they have pro wrestlers in their movie: body slams in slow-mo!
You got to hand it to McDonough though. Even if he knows he's in a piece of crap movie, which he must have known here, he still throws in with everything he's got. He sneers and snarls as he barks orders to his henchmen. He delivers eloquent manifestos about the evils of corporate greed and how he has the cures to all its ills. His maniacal laugh is up there with the best of them. If there's a silver lining to the drudgery that is 'Marine 3' it's Neal McDonough.
Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
This is a Fox release. It comes in a standard keepcase. It's a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. The Blu-ray is a 50GB disc. It's coded for Region A use.
Filmed digitally 'Marine 3's 1080p presentation looks exactly like you'd expect digital filming to look. It lacks the life and depth of 35mm, especially when it's used on a lower budget affair such as this. Here the visuals, while clear, are never worthy of anything over congratulatory praise for not messing things up.
There's fine clarity throughout the movie, except for quite a few snippets involved in the big shootout which were noticeably sourced from completely different recording equipment. It looked to me like there were quite a few shots, which were far more compressed than the others, that were taken with small fish-eye cameras such as GoPro sports cameras, or something like them. Those shots are conspicuously different than any other shots in the movie and add in a jarring visual experience that doesn't mesh with the rest of the film.
Source noise can be spotted floating around in the blacker areas of the movie. Shadows, at times, dance with noise. Speaking of shadows, most of them come off as flat and slightly crushing. Banding and aliasing are minimally seen though.
With this many explosions and gunfights one might expect the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix to rock and roll. Only, this one surprisingly, whimpers. None of the action scenes really have that oomph that better sounding scenes of its ilk do.
LFE is loud, but like the visuals, it lacks depth and nuance. It's hoping that just by blasting you with enough force that you'll be satisfied and call it good. Dialogue is clear and directionality works adequately. Ambient noise is deadly quiet though. Rear speakers do little to engage the listener. Even during the big gun battles, the bulk of the sound becomes localized up front, giving the listener a one-dimensional listening experience.
Well, apparently there are people out there that are facilitating the ongoing production of the 'Marine' franchise. I don't know who you are, or why you're doing it, but at least with this movie you get to watch Neal McDonough act just as crazy as he always does. Both audio and video are pretty average. At best it's a rental on a night when you're home...alone...all alone...and really, really bored. Nothing more than that.