The Marine 3: Homefront – Blu-ray
20th Century Fox
Release Date: Mar 5, 2013
Reviewed by Mark Smith
Review Score: 1 of 5
I enjoyed both of the previous WWE films, The Marine with John Cena, and The Marine 2 with Ted DiBiase Jr., so logically I should have no reason to question the fun I should be having when I sit down to watch The Marine 3: Homefront; this time with Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. But when this film had ended I was speechless with what had just passed before my eyes. From the opening pretentious narration and setup to the preposterous and unrewarding ending, this is 91 minutes of pure torture that even hardcore WWE and Miz fans will struggle to enjoy.
Jack Carter (Mizanin) escaped his fated future of working at the lumber mill by joining the Marines and has now returned home for a few weeks of R&R. We learn everything we need to know about Jack and his two sisters, Amanda (Camille Sullivan) and Lilly (Ashley Bell) from the narration and an awkward cookout sequence rife with poorly written dialogue and delivered with equally poor acting – even by WWE Films standard. Meanwhile, off in the “city” Jonas Pope (Neal McDonough) is pulling off a bank robbery, more out of demonstration than for greed. This, and a brief verbal backstory of how he shot a healthcare worker in the face after his mother died from cancer are the only setup we get for this poorly written villain who has somehow acquired enough explosives to level a building and enough weapons and ammo to start a small war.
Fates intertwine when Jonas and his crew execute a treacherous member of their organization in the local junkyard – the same junkyard where Lilly and her boyfriend are scavenging for spare parts for their jeep. Naturally, Lilly screams and the bad guys capture them and take them back to their “lair”, a run-a-ground derelict ship and perhaps the only authentic thing in this movie. Now it’s up to Jack to save his sister (and the boyfriend) while inflicting maximum death and carnage in the process. Naturally, the FBI gets involved which provides some amusing moments of more poorly written dialogue and some surprisingly unrealistic SWAT tactics with disastrous results.
The entire movie is just preposterous. Pope is perhaps the most unconvincing villain in the history of villains. Harkin (Jared Keeso), the local sheriff, looks like he stepped off the poster of a GNC steroid poster, Sullivan and Bell play their sisterly rolls to excess, leaving us to hear Lilly screaming profanities and cries for help that go unheard for most of the second act. Even the action sequences are underwhelming and surprisingly impotent – especially the final explosion of a bomb that was supposed to bring down an entire building but looked like nothing more than a gas tank explosion – at least until all the secondary charges started going off around the set. They filmmakers boast about how they set a new record for firing 10,000 rounds of ammo in a single day, but this was in a scene where only a dozen SWAT guys were killed. If it takes that much ammo to kill 12 guys you might want to find a new line of work. And despite enough weapons and ammo to start a small war, there is always plenty of opportunities for The Miz to mix it up with some hand-to-hand lest we forget his wrestling roots.
The Marine 3 looks good enough with a solid 1080p AVC transfer that showcases plenty of detail and realistic colors and textures despite the image having a washed-out look to it. They used some cool handheld shots although several were recycled. I’m pretty sure I saw the same camera plop sideways to the ground at least three times when a guy got killed. There were no artifacts or other distractions in this direct-to-video release, but I can’t imagine it looking any worse on a digital streaming service. The DTS-HD MA 5.1 track gets the job done by prioritizing the dialogue to the center and immersing you in overwhelming amounts of gunfire, explosions, and other violent sound effects from all channels. When there is no action the rear channels pick-up on Robert Revell’s score, arguably the best part of the sound experience.
Special features are few and for those who were hoping for a Miz commentary you are out of luck. “Shipwrecked: Breaking Down the Boat” is an 8-minute feature on the real star of this movie – the broken down ferry used as the enemy hideout and primary location for most of the action. “The Miz Rocks the Boat” is another 8-minutes of the Miz taking you on a guide tour of the boat. “The Miz Declassified” is a 10-minute biography on the Miz from his humble beginnings to his current transition to action star. “Casting Call” is an 8-minute look at how Mason Norman went from being a WWE fan to a credited walk-on extra in the film thanks to a promotion that ran during a WrestleMania 28 Axxess fan event. And finally, we have the “Miz Journal”; basically a 7-minute diary of Mike documenting his experience on the film.
Personally, I found the The Marine 3: Homefront preposterous, unrewarding and a complete waste of time, and this is from someone who loved the first two films. Nobody in the film could act – even those with real acting experience, the story was paper-thin, the characters where shallow, and even the action was poorly executed. Technically, the Blu-ray production is adequate but I wouldn’t recommend this as a purchase unless you are a hardcore fan of the Miz or just want to laugh at a bad movie – and you can do that when this thing hits Netflix.