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The Marine

  • compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Jan
The Marine
from Film Forum, 10/19/06

John Cena is a successful professional wrestler, and he's also a hip-hop artist. So that means he's imminently qualified to be a movie star, right?

Some people seem to think so. Critics refuse to award any medals to Cena's first film, The Marine, but the movie did break into the top ten this week. Cena plays a Rambo-like Marine who must save his wife from a wicked diamond thief (Terminator 2's Robert Patrick), so he opens fire with a barrage of action-film clichés.

Marcus Yoars (Plugged In) says, "The paint-by-numbers characters, the Rambo-reminiscent story line and the sheer impossibility of virtually every action scene may be brushed aside as par for the course. Same goes for the lame attempts at comedy spliced between all those punches, shots and explosions. … But the celebration of foul language, illicit sex and violence? Not excusable."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "Cena lacks the charisma of fellow ex-wrestler Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, but is reasonably appealing. … Director John Bonito piles on the pyrotechnics, chases and ammo rounds, all strung together with a B-movie script."

Mainstream critics would like to send Cena back to the wrestling ring, although a few critics got a kick out of the film's unapologetically derivative tricks.