09th Jun2015

‘The Marine 4: Moving Target’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Curtis Caravaggio, Fraser Aitcheson, Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin, Summer Rae, Josh Blacker, Matthew MacCaull, Primo Allon, Todd Jenkins, Melissa Roxburgh, Paul McGillion | Written by Alan B. McElroy | Directed by William Kaufman

marine-4-dvd

Former reality star and current WWE superstar Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin returns for a second crack at the title role in this fourth instalment of The Marine franchise and this time he’s bringing a WWE Diva along for the ride. Yes, after three installments featuring the WWE’s beefy muscle-men in the title role, The Marine 4: Moving Target sees fit to add a female wrestler into the mix – and she’s no damsel in distress either! Summer Rae – WWE Diva, former partner of the hip-jiggling Fandango and bitchy nemesis of the Bella Twins – stars alongside The Miz as one of a group of mercenaries tasked with tracking down the titular Marine. In other words, she tries to kick the Marine’s arse; and almost succeeds!

The Marine 4 continues the story of ex-Marine Jake Carter (Mizanin), now working in the private sector, who is assigned to protect a whistleblower who claims she is in possession of secrets that could bring down a corrupt military defence organisation. As the number of people who want this client dead grows by the minute, Jake has his work cut out for him defending the damsel in distress and trying to stay alive…

We’re on the FOURTH film in the series now, so you should really know what to expect from this latest film; and the filmmakers know how to deliver. This time round there’s an air of First Blood/Rambo to the proceedings as the film takes a turn into new – yet familiar – territory in the final third as the titular marine takes his intrinsic set of skills in the woods and uses, much like Rambo, Predator‘s Dutch et al, the environment to his advantage.

Yet for all that, The Miz doesn’t have the same credible action-movie star chops that Ted DiBiase Jr. had in The Marine 2. But what he does have is likeability. Whereas it appeared that DiBiase Jr. could kick your ass as soon as look at you, he had the charisma of a wooden board. However The Miz is undoubtedly more charismatic – so much so that you can overlook any physical limitations he has. In fact those limitations add a little something extra to proceedings.

For what actually distinguishes The Marine 4, and the previous movie, from other films in the franchise and of other films of this particular ilk, is that unlike the aforementioned “other” action heroes, The Miz never plays his character as anything other than human – he has a skillset, which of course includes using all kinds of combat and weapons, and he uses those to the best of his abilites. Never does he suddenly develop super-strength or the ability to keep fighting despite being riddle with injuries. No, this marine is all too human, even relying on his client to help him overcome the enemy.

And that’s why The Marine 4 works. Our hero is human, his situation is dire and everyone likes rooting for the underdog – even if that underdog could probably kick the arse of most of this films target audience! Now if only this franchise could return to the big-budget nature of the first film…

The Marine 4: Moving Target is out now on DVD.

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