The Marine II Roel Reiné

The Marine II Roel Reiné
Every once in a while, a film comes along where the director is so perfectly matched with his material that it seems too good to be true. So imagine my unhinged joy when I learned that The Marine II, the direct-to-DVD sequel to the 2006 John Cena classic, would be directed by Roel Reine, best known to his legions of fans as the man behind Steven Seagal's Pistol Whipped. Alas, the seemingly sure-fire combination of venerable franchise with visionary director has turned out a disappointing entry, even with the watchful eye of the prestigious WWE Films (recent credits: See No Evil, 12 Rounds) and the dependable 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment (recent credits: Wrong Turn 3, Into the Blue 2). Part of the problem is Ted DiBiase, Jr. (the son of the Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase), who takes over the reins of the franchise from the beefy, sweaty hands of Cena. Though arguably even beefier and sweatier than Cena, DiBiase, Jr. is arguably even less charismatic, although I will admit he does his one pouty facial expression pretty well and he can sweat better than any actor I've seen lately. The plot is a throwback to those "Die Hard on a [boat, plane, train, etc.]" '90s action movies, this time taking place in a Thai resort where DiBaise and his sexy wife are attending a party for her slimy corporate boss. A group of terrorists take over the resort, and it's up to our beefy hero to save the day. Overwhelmingly predictable and clichéd ― gee, I wonder how long it will take ex-marine Michael Rooker to throw aside his "I don't wanna be a hero anymore" attitude and help our hero out? ― The Marine II fails even as an mindless action film, with shaky-cam cinematography destroying the few worthwhile martial arts scenes. DVD extras include deleted and extended scenes, which I completely skipped, reasoning I'd had just enough of The Marine II for one lifetime, thank you very much. I did, however, indulge in the short puff-piece documentaries, including the amusingly-titled "Building a Legacy: Ted's Story," in which we learn how DiBiase, Jr. followed in his dad's footsteps of joining the WWE and see some of his hilariously bad audition footage. The Marine II fans should pay special attention to a separate documentary about Roel Reine's shooting methods, titled "Play by the Roels" (see what they did there?), which includes interview footage with the master himself. Among his insights: "The style [of The Marine II] is a little bit free style ― a lot of beauty shots, a lot of dollies, it has a lot of cinematical feeling," and "Shooting is like jazz ― there's no rules!" (Fox)