HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Marine 4: Moving Target
HTS Overall Score:83
I have to admit that I really enjoy “The Marine” franchise. They’re the epitome of guilty pleasure movies, as they are short on plot and intelligence, but long on guns and explosive hand to hand combat. WWE films started out with a few films like “The Condemned” and “The Marine” back in the early 2000’s and have really found their nice with these straight to DVD action flicks. Even some of their theatrical releases are getting more and more impressive. John Cena started it back in 2006 when he starred as John Triton, a Marine who embarks on a trail of vengeance in order to get his wife back. As cheesy and bad as it was, it garnered a staunch following and the franchise was born. Each movie stars a different WWE superstar who portrays a different Marine who’s out to set wrongs right. Cena was the first, followed by Ted Dibiase jr. and then Mike “The Miz”. “The Marine 4” is the first of the series to actually star the same superstar twice, reprising his role as Jake Carter.
You guessed it. Jack Carter is back and this time he’s out of the Marines. As many ex-military personnel end up doing, he’s joined a private security force and is one his very first mission. A young (and way too good looking for an I.T. genius) whistleblower has just come forth with information that incriminates half the board of directors for the U.S. government’s biggest defense contractor in a conspiracy of negligence and treason. This company is certainly gunning for her, and the DOJ has hired Jack’s security team to babysit Olivia (Melissa Roxburgh) until she gets safely to the DOJ headquarters. While they are transporting her, the team is attacked by a paramilitary forced headed by Andrew Vogel (Josh Blacker), a paramilitary rouge agent under the command of this incriminated defense contractors.
Forced into running, Jack and Olivia have to dodge bullets and traitors in an effort to stay alive. Hunted through the forest and even under the protection of an entire police force, the two have to learn to trust each other in order to stay alive. Hunting a vicious animal can only go on so long before the animal turns on you, and Carter is one VICIOUS animal. With his back against a wall and nowhere to run, he decides to make a stand and show these mercs just what type of damage a Marine can do when cornered.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=43569[/img]“The Marine 4” follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. We’re not looking at “Citizen Kane” or even top notch action movies like “The Bourne Identity” or even as classic cheese like Arnold movies, but they are filled with enough action and a high enough budget to entertain you if you check your brain at the door. One of the fun things about these movies is the fact that “The Miz” and the other superstars are walking stuntmen, so their action sequences are fast, hard hitting and lots of stylish fun. “The Miz” also has something else going for him. He’s one of the few WWE stars who can actually deliver a line without sounding like a complete Neanderthal. Now I know that’s not a ringing recommendation, but he delivers lines rather decently and his action scenes are excellent. Most of the movie is one big gun battle as Olivia and Jake dodge the assassins, but there’s three or four major hand to hand combat scenes that really light up the movie. Sharing co billing in the movie is WWE Diva, Summer Rae, playing one of the merc commandos. She doesn’t speak more than 5 lines the ENTIRE movie, but as you can tell from the billing, her major role in the picture is to have someone who can battle blow blow with Jake. Although, I don’t think I’ve ever seen military or merc personnel ever run around with a shirt that shows off bare midriff before. Not saying it doesn’t look good, but somehow I doubt that a commando is worried about looking appealing in a firefight.
While the acting is thin, and the plot even thinner, the movie doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is. A slick and fast action movie. The directors realize that we aren’t dealing with multimillion dollar actors, and thusly put a bulk of the budget into the action sequences and the technical aspects of the film. The cinematography is quite good with lots of slick, shiny effects and great hand to hand combat choreography. Reveling in the simplicity of meat heads shooting each other, it’s a surprisingly entertaining film if you allow your brain to be put on the back burner for an hour and a half.
Rated R for violence throughout
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=43577[/img]“The Marine 4: Moving Target” sports an incredible looking transfer that is squeaky digital clean and razor sharp as you can expect from a DTV release. Colors are bright and natural, with plenty of greens and blues and dark shadowy blacks in the forest exteriors where Jake and Olivia are trying to evade their pursuers, and crisp navy blues and greys in the exterior shots where the police and military personnel gather. Blacks are inky and deep, with nary a sign of crush or washed out grey blacks to be seen. Fine detail is incredible, as the crystal clear digital photography leaves nothing to the imagination. Digital artifacting is nowhere to be seen, as the short movie has a very high bitrate in the mid 30s. I did notice a flicker of shimmering in one scene, but I can’t tell if it’s the encode or just a flicker in the source material. Either way, it’s an impeccable encode that is about as good as it gets for the material.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=43585[/img]I love action movies, not just for the explosion, guns and martial arts combat, but because the audio tracks are usually wildly fun and full of all the good stuff, like “splosions”, guns that sound like howitzer’s and deep throbbing bass lines. “The Marine 4” doesn’t disappoint as it pounds you back in your seat with all of the above little features of sonic aggression. Dialog is clean and clear, locked up front, but it’s accompanied by a throbbing bass line that doesn’t hesitate to let you know that you’re watching a movie filled with testosterone, blood, guts and lots of guns. Weapons fire is actually surprisingly accurate, as they sound like GUNS and not 50 caliber turret mounted weapons. The plink of bullets light up the surround channels and pieces of exploding tree and debris around the carnage creates a 360 degree field of immersion that makes you feel like you’re in the battle. Long story short, this track is viciously bombastic and full of the type of energy that makes these tracks a blast to listen to.
• “Firepower” featurette
• “The Franchise” featurette
• “Beauty is Dangerous” featurette
“The Marine” movies are not extremely intelligent movies. There real pull is watching big WWE stars shoot guns and engage in stunt filled fights that most actors shy away from due to the physicality of the encounters. I have to say that I have enjoyed all 4 Marine movies and completely check my brain in at the door while shoving popcorn down my throat with a giant mug of beer to my left when watching. “The Marine 4” follows in the footsteps of the ones that came before it with lots of guns, fists and explosions to fill out the 90 minute run time. If you liked the other three, then I see no reason why you won’t love this one. The audio and video are exceptional and if you’re a fan I recommend it for a good watch. If you just love action movies and haven’t seen any yet, don’t worry you don’t need to see the rest, give it a rental.
Starring: Mike 'The Miz' Mizanin, Josh Blacker, Danielle Moinet, Melissa Roxburgh
Directed by: William Kaufman
Written by: Alan B. McElroy, Scott Wiper
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French, German DTS 5.1
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Runtime: 90 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: April 21st 2015
Buy The Marine 4: Moving Target On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Cheesy, but Fun Rental
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