April 18, 2017


Starring Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, Bo Dallas, Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, Naomi, Anna Van Hooft, Nathan Mitchell, Maryse Ouellet Mizanin, Sandy Robinson. Directed by James Nunn. (2017, 91 min).

Maybe Jake Carter (WWE star Mike "The Miz" Mizanin) should consider re-enlisting in the Marines. In The Marine 3, he pummels and slaughters half the residents of a small town before the ink on his discharge papers is dry. And wasn't he putting those formidable fighting skills to work for a security agency just one movie ago? Whatever happened to that job? He's an ambulance driver in The Marine 5: Battleground, but still clearly better at taking lives than saving them. Civilian life just doesn't seem to be working out for him.

The "battleground" in question is a parking garage, where most of the movie takes place. Carter and his cannon fodder partner, Zoe (Anna Van Hooft) find themselves trying to save a wounded ex-con from a gang of vicious bikers whose leader he just shot and killed. The bikers consist mostly of other wrestling stars, all of whom are capable of two expressions (menace and rage, even when pounding a beer). At least "The Miz," here for his third go-round, has enough experience under his belt to manage three (looking dumbfounded isn't something you often see on a wrestler's face).

When eating barbecued ribs, careful not to "Miz" your mouth. Get it? MIZ your mouth?
Of course, no one watches a movie like this for a heartfelt soliloquy by Bo Dallas. I suppose WWE fans will enjoy watching a half-dozen of their idols punch, kick, stab and shoot each other. For everyone else, The Marine 5 is a dreary, low wattage Die Hard knock-off, with The Miz methodically dispatching exceptionally dumb villains in a setting slightly more cinematic than an elevator. The action shifts to an empty amusement park for the climax, which is a far more interesting location, but not enough to make the preceding 70 minutes worth enduring.

While no classic by any stretch, at least The Marine was an earnest effort to entertain undiscriminating action fans and suggested John Cena might just have a reasonably successful career outside of the ring. But like the previous direct-to-video sequels, The Marine 5 is little more than another cynical product from the WWE to promote its brand. Wrestling fans will undoubtedly eat it up, which is probably enough to make The Marine 6 inevitable. No one else need apply.

FEATURETTES: "Evening the Odds"; "Superstar Studded"


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