29th Nov2018

‘The Marine 6: Close Quarters’ DVD Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin, Shawn Michaels, Becky Lynch, Louisa Connolly-Burnham, Terence Maynard, Tim Woodward, Martyn Ford, Anna Demetriou, Michael Higgs, Daniel Adegboyega, Alec Newman, Hester Ruoff | Written by Craig Walendziak | Directed by James Nunn

marine-6-dvd

WWE superstar The Miz and director James Nunn re-team for the sixth entry in the Marine franchise, filmed right here in the UK (though you’d be hard-pressed to tell thanks to some impressive set design), The Marine 6: Close Quarters.

This time round The Miz’s titular character, Jake Carter, teams with another WWE superstar, Shawn Michaels, who also plays a former Marine and Carter’s former CO, Luke Trapper. Stumbling across a terrorist plot (as one does) in a disused Oregon Brewery-turned squatters apartment block, the pair join forces to rescue a kidnapped girl (Louisa Connolly-Burnham) from a gang of international criminals, led by Maddy Hayes (Becky Lynch).

Full disclosure: I’m a big fan of The Marine franchise, and having reviewed all the previous entries in the series, I was actually invited on-set for the filming of some of The Marine 6: Close Quarters.

So we’re six films into the franchise and this the fourth to feature The Miz in the lead role. So by now we should be treading water right? Phoning it in like Bruce Willis in the later Die Hard movies? You’d think so, but you’d be wrong. In fact its the opposite for this series, each subsequent entry is better than the last. And thanks to the way in which The Marine series came to be, with the changes in actors, cast and crew, each film can be a stand alone movie, something of a fresh start – even in terms of character development and motivation; with only the titular Marine, Jake Carter, to hold the films together.

Last time there was a change in the character of Jake Carter, making him more vulnerable and something of an everyman (again a la Bruce Willis in Die Hard), which allowed for more tension and more excitement – after all audiences care more for someone who’s not a killing maching Marine, the vunlenerability means danger and danger equals empathy. This time round, well… I’m not spoiling ANYTHING that happens here, save to say that I did not expect the character developement that takes place in this film. Not in the slightest.

Like the previous The Marine films, The Miz is not the only WWE superstar to appear in this film – Shawn Michaels, as Carter’s former CO and best friend, is a brilliant foil for The Miz – providing this films comic relief, mirroring The Miz’s more stoic performance. Michaels’ character is also part Yoda, part Roger Murtaugh, insomuch that he’s wise and offers Carter advice AND he’s the Marine veteran who’s “too old for this sh*t.” Meanwhile Becky Lynch, as the head of the gang of kidnappers, channels the very same attitude that has got her so over with WWE fans in this role – she is a total badass, even getting the kind of comeuppance usually reserved for real evil b*stards!

Two films in, and director James Nunn knows how to stage the action to get the best out of his performers – The Miz looks like a real hero here, even managing to hold his own against the giant that is Martyn Ford (one of the films more well-known supporting actors) in a number of fights. Meanwhile pretty much everyone who gets a fight scene looks like a killing machine – be they good guy or bad guy! The real surprise of The Marine 6, in terms of filming, is how much effort went into this movie – I was on set for an entire day and the footage I saw being shot amounted to only a sliver of what was actually used in the finished film… there was a dedication I saw from all involved – from the director and the producers, right down to the runners – to getting the best shot,  showing the right details and making everyone and everything look good; and that translates onto the screen, easily making this the most accomplished of all the DTV sequels.

If you’re a fan of the series, or any of the WWE stars involved, you owe it to yourself to check out The Marine 6: Close Quarters. The film is available on DVD and VOD (in the US) now.

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