Hey folks Valkor here. TOV plans to finish out 2009 strong and to kick things off the Val-Man is cleaning out the cave, giving you some great reviews of hot new films and products that are must haves. This next review caters to the action lover in me. It's a direct to video sequel of 2006 actioner "The Marine", which starred John Cena. Filling in this round is Ted Dibiase jr, son of the Million Dollar "Everyone has a price" Man, Ted Dibiase. I give you a look at "The Marine 2".
The Marine 2 is all about Dibiase's character John, who's a marine brooding over the loss of a kid, who was caught in the line of fire when he and his partner executed an attack on some gun smugglers. When he returns home after the mission, his wife Robin (Lara Cox), takes him to a remote island where her boss is about to open this pretty swank hotel resort. But the party comes to an end when a group of rebels disrupt the festivities. John does his best taking down a few of the rebels, but gets knocked out cold battling one of em. He's pulled to safety by hotel local Church (Michael Rooker). When John awakes, the local military is on the scene and along with a group of mercs they plan to attack the rebels, who are holding much the guests as hostages. And according to their leader Damo (Temuera Morrison) they'll kill em all unless they receive tribute. John joins the mercs, but their plan is botched and all but one of the mercs gets wasted, because as it turns out one of them is actually with the rebels (Everybody has a price). So now John, by his lonesome, must take out the rebels and save his wife (and of course the rest of the hostages).
You know there aren't too many films that I would say would make a great video game, but The Marine 2 has so many elements of it being the perfect, no brainer action title; run and gun, gathering items, sneaking around, and sniping. If this film were a game, I'd be all over it. But enough of that schtuff, let's talk movie.
I enjoyed the first film because of all the action, explosions, and hot women, but the plot was pretty weak. However The Marine 2 does everything right that the first one got wrong, making it the better picture. For starters, the plot makes more sense, though it pretty much follows the first film where the guy just wants to rescue his wife. It has a few holes, which I will discuss later but it it's pretty straight forward and well paced. What also makes it better is the setting, shot in Thailand, keeping it within one area rather than being some cross country chase makes this pill of a film easier to swallow. The acting is taken up a notch and Ted Dibiase does well in his role as Marine John, he even pulls off a few wrestling moves to dispatch some baddies. As an action star, I'd like to see him in more films of this type, given the proper roles he'd rank up there with some of the greats as Jean Claude Van Damm and Steven Seagal. Finally the fight scenes and explosions are pretty tight. The editing on the fights are not too quick, and the explosions aren't overly big and actually make more sense. In the first film John Cena's character is trapped in an exploding gas station and walks out, here Dibiase leaps off an exploding boat. I'll buy the boat scenario over the gas station any day.
First the film is quite predictable; scene for scene you know what's gonna happen. Second, I didn't care for the fact that John only wanted his wife back. That worked great in the first film because it was only the wife, but the second one involves the wife and hostages. How about we focus on all and not just the one? Finally, there's a scene where John infiltrates the hotel, mind you he was already presumed dead. He does a great job sneaking in and taking out a guy, but the Damo finds out that someone is on the premises and is taking out his men. How did he know it was an American and not the military or maybe another mercenary? And would it kill anyone to toss in some breast? The first one had some serious cleavage, why not this one?
Overall I was pleased with The Marine 2; as an action title, it serves its purpose and gets the job done, fulfilling my lust of gun battles and explosions. The film gets released next week and even with its faults I recommend it. Out of TOV 5 stars I give The Marine 2 a 4 and its been Valkor tested and TOV Approved.