Actors: Paul McGillion, Mike Mizanin, Curtis Caravaggio, Matthew MacCaull
Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, DTS Surround Sound, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (DTS 5.1)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Number of discs: 1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: April 21, 2015
Run Time: 91 minutes
The latest straight-to-home-entertainment sequel in this action franchise amps up the level of patriotism, making it almost feel like a sequel to Act of Valor instead. This comparison makes even more sense when comparing the acting skills of the group of Navy Seals used in Act of Valor and the wrestlers of The Marine 4. Even sadder is the fact that these performers are no less convincing than the actual actors cast in the supporting roles. The bottom line is that these films are about action above all else, and The Marine 4: Moving Target is the closest sequel in the franchise to capturing what made the first film mildly successful.
For the first time in the franchise, The Marine 4 has the same leading man as a previous installment. Though there are no real connections between the stories in the two films, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin returns as Jake Carter, a war hero who has moved to work in the private sector. When his first job transporting a whistleblower is sabotaged by a group of mercenaries, Carter is forced to put his skills to the test once again. Like the original film, this results in a chase through wilderness while our hero takes out the bad guys one-by-one. The creativity of this action is the strength of the film’s narrative, while realism and believability have been all but discarded. Guns never seem to run out of bullets and the booby traps seem to defy the laws of physics, but the non-stop spectacle of the action is actually far more engaging than it has a right to be.
Part of the difficulty with this franchise has also been its selling point; the casting of WWE wrestlers to attempt acting onscreen rather than in the ring. While their physicality may be believable, acting skills often leave something to be desired. This time around may give Mizanin a second chance that others did not receive, but he is no more convincing with the dialogue than he was before. The Marine 4 also features the first appearance from a WWE Diva in a film from WWE Studios, and Summer Rae may come off more convincing, but this is merely because of the limited dialogue given to the villainous character.
All of the bad guys are fairly convincingly played in The Marine 4, perhaps because of how little their characters need to be developed between scenes of action. In the end, it is the actor with the least demanding physical role who ends up coming off as the worst actor. Actually, perhaps I should rephrase that. Melissa Roxburgh has the least demanding role in terms of action and stunt work as the attitude-filled whistleblower, Olivia Tanis. There is no need for a physically active actress in this role, but the physicality of her attractiveness must have played a larger role in the casting process than her abilities to act, because the bad dialogue often sounds more believable coming from the wrestler’s mouths than her own. It is far more forgivable to be forced to endure meathead wrestlers struggle with acting than someone who was cast to do nothing but act, no matter how cute the casting director may think they are.
The Blu-ray release includes a digital copy of the film, along with a handful of predictably promotional featurettes. All three serve the solitary purpose of self praise, highlighting the action and integration of WWE Divas into the cinematic universe. There is also a featurette about the progression of the minor action franchise.
Entertainment Value: 4.5/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 4/10
Historical Significance: 2/10
Special Features: 2.5/10