Jarhead 3 has arrived to remind us there was actually a Jarhead 2. That direct-to-DVD sequel jettisoned everything interesting about the original biographical 2005 film (including its A-list cast) to focus on gunplay and explosions. Similarly, Jarhead 3 is a sequel in-name-only. Other than a gratuitous appearance by Dennis Haysbert and the title, it bares no resemblance to either of the previous films.
This time, gung-ho Marine corporal Evan Albright (Charlie Weber, displaying all the charisma and personality of a trout) is transferred to help protect an American embassy in the Middle East. It's initially a dull assignment until a batch of unnamed terrorists decide to attack the complex in order to kill an informant. Of course, only Albright saw this siege coming in advance because everyone else in his squad thinks he's an overzealous dork (which he kind-of is). Top-billed Scott Adkins plays his commanding officer, who mostly exists to poo-poo Albright's enthusiasm before later conceding he was wrong.
After thirty dull minutes of exposition, the attack begins. At this point, the last hour of Jarhead 3 plays like a round of the video game, Call of Duty...lots of low-budget shootouts and explosions, faceless bad guys who make Imperial Stormtroopers look like marksmen and a few deaths along the way that we're supposed to care about because the suddenly solemn soundtrack says so. The problem is we don’t know enough about any of these characters to give a damn. Similarly, we’re only made aware of the film’s primary villain because he scowls, wears black and Albright suspects him right away.
|"You had me at Hello."|
But Jarhead 3 is far from the first movie to make big, dumb action priority-one. Sure, it’s more like watching someone else play a video game, but does it at-least deliver the carnage? Well, sort of. The thing is loaded with gunplay, CG-enhanced head-shots and occasional explosions, but nothing you haven’t seen before in any straight-to-video sequel to Sniper, The Marine or Behind Enemy Lines.
In other words, Jarhead 3 is your usual low-wattage action flick trading in on a brand name to get attention. It’s competently made for what it is, but you aren't likely to give it a single thought afterwards.
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