• Marine 3: Homefront



    Released by: Fox
    Released on: March 5, 2013.

    Director: Scott Wiper

    Cast: Mike Mizanin, Neal McDonough, Ashley Bell, Michael Eklund

    Year: 2013

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    The Movie:


    Director Scott Wiper, who put Stone Cold Steve Austin up on the silver screen back in 2007 for The Condemned, gets wrestler/reality TV star Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin in front of the digital camera for his action movie debut with The Marine 3: Homefront. The second sequel in name only to the original The Marine which starred John Cena (the second film starred Ted Dibiase Jr.), it’s a perfectly fine eighty minutes of action, violence and suspense even if it doesn’t reinvent the wheel in terms of originality.


    The movie begins with an opening montage of Marines being Marines and doing tough guy Marine stuff while Miz, in character as Jake Carter talks about the type of commitment and testicular fortitude it takes to serve your country the way that the proud and the few do. From there, we learn that Jake is no longer an active Marine, instead he’s gone home after serving abroad for a decade or so to spend some quiet time with his two sisters. Shortly after returning home, however, Jake heads out to a local bar where he gets into a brawl with some hooligans and some cops – this lets us know that Jake is still tough and not about to take any crap from anyone.


    From there we meet Jonah Pope (Neil McDonough), a terrorist type who robs banks not as a means to get rich quick but so that he can burn the money and make anti-capitalist statements. He lives in a big abandoned boat. When Pope winds up kidnapping one of Jake’s sisters and her boyfriend, he has to gear up and save the day, but the F.B.I., or more specifically the hot chick Agent Thompson (Nicola Anderson), want him to work with them. See, Jake is such a hard ass that where even the F.B.I. can’t succeed, he can. Lots of stuff blows up.


    So while this one is a little farfetched and suffers from a slow middle part wherein the F.B.I. are going about talking to Jake rather than actually doing much of anything, overall this is entertaining enough. Mizanin is, at times, a little too goofy to be taken completely seriously, but he’s got some charisma and shows good energy and capability during the fights scenes. There are a few decent shoot outs, a really solid first fights and explosions of varying degrees of intensity and a pretty lady or two hanging around to keep things interesting. As is typical with so many recent action movies there’s an irritating overreliance on shaky cam tactics but outside of that the movie is well shot and well edited. The score is decent and dramatic enough that it complements the action while the storyline gives us just enough ‘meat’ between the action set pieces to work. As masterpiece? No, but you probably new that as soon as you realized this was a WWE movie starring The Miz. But this is decent enough entertainment but if you’re a fan of the self proclaimed ‘awesome one’ or just like brainless movies where people shoot at each other and blow stuff up, sit back with a six pack and turn up the surround sound. There are worse ways to kill eighty minutes.


    Video/Audio/Extras:


    The Marine 3 arrives on Blu-ray in an anamorphic 1.78.1 widescreen presentation with AVC encoding in 1080p high definition. The locations look nice and offer occasionally impressive use of color and texture to ogle in the background, but a lot of times the colors look intentionally unsaturated. Skin tones are good, if leaning towards the hot side of things periodically, while black levels remain dark and pretty strong. There aren't any compression artifacts or edge enhancement issues of note, but there are instances of ringing throughout and some of the darker scenes look a bit noisy. This has got to be an upgrade over the SD release, you can see a pretty impressive level of detail in close ups and sporadic medium and long distance shots. All in all, the movie looks pretty good here in high definition.


    The English language DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix on this release is solid. The lower end is nice and strong and the plentiful explosions and gun shots all hit pretty hard from every corner of the front of the soundstage. Note the use of the word front there – surprisingly enough, rear channel activity here is a bit subdued. Otherwise, dialogue is well balanced and mixed in nicely ensuring that you won't have any trouble understanding the performers while the score has some nice liveliness to it. Not much to complain about here, really, it all sounds quite good. An alternate French language dub is provided in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound and subtitles are provided in English, Spanish, and French.


    The extras here are brief and pretty superficial, focusing more on The Miz as a personality than on the making of the movie. The first featurette is Shipwrecked: Breaking Down The Boat that shows off the locations used for the scene with the derelict boat – it’s moderately interesting. The Miz Rocks The Boat is a short bit about Miz on the boat, running around and stuff. It’s less interesting. The Miz Declassified lets Mizanin talk about his wrestling career while Casting Call: Ready To Enlist showcases how one lucky wrestling fan was chosen to have a cameo in the movie alongside Mizanin. The Miz Journal segments are a collection of brief little video diaries that the actor/wrestler kept while making the movie. Menus and chapter selection are also included and as this is a combo pack it comes with a DVD version of the movie as well.

    The Final Word:


    As far as direct to video action movies go, this one isn’t bad. It’s not particularly original nor is it particularly realistic but it is fast paced, violent and entertaining. Miz has enough charisma on screen to carry the picture and this turns out to be a perfectly enjoyable way to spend eighty minutes in front of the TV.


    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!