The Marine 5: Battleground
As we continue on the road to Wrestlemania, one of the many big match-ups this Sunday is the mixed tag match, between John Cena & Nikki Bella against The Miz & Maryse. In my house, we’re really looking forward to it. It’s the kind of match that seems perfect for the grandiose spectacle that is Wrestlemania!
Well as chance, fate and WWE scheduling would have it, this week saw the release of the new movie The Marine 5: Battleground, starring two of those aforementioned wrestlers.
If you haven’t seen any of these Marine films before, oh boy, are YOU ever in luck! I mean, because I’m going to catch you up now. Don’t be like that. Here:
In the first film, John Cena plays a Marine.
In the second film, Ted Dibiase Jr. plays a different Marine who is on holiday.
In the third film, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, plays another different marine.
In the fourth film, Mike Mizanin plays the same marine but this time with a different job.
Today I am going to be reviewing the fifth The Marine.
Apparently, this movie was written by the McHenrys, a pair of award-winning British film-making brothers! And directed by a guy called Joseph Nunn. He previously made a film called Tower Block, which was unusual in that it was a British action film which didn’t completely suck. So I’ve got high hopes for this.
Oh yeah, I’m typing this up whilst sleep-deprived from notes I wrote in the dark whilst I was drunk. Notes capturing what everyone in the room, also drunk, were shouting out as suggestions. Because it’s Wrestlemania week and sleep is for the weak. So yeah, this is longer and probably more incoherent than usual. Anyway, enjoy!
WWE Studios logo.
CUT TO: close-up shots of a motorbike as it rides through the city streets at night.
We begin at a biker bar. A truck is parked near-by. Inside of it two guys are watching the bar closely. Are they good guys? Well this is an American movie in 2017 and they are two non-Caucasian gentlemen. So, probably not, no.
They’re waiting for someone. We see the biker pull up and the guys wonder if this is their target.
No, it is Bo Dallas, the meanest, longest-haired biker in all these parts. …Okay then! Sexy chicks throng to him.
Naomi is behind the bar, looking like she takes no shit, serving up drinks. I think her name is Murphy. Hey, there’s Curtis Axel, who like Bo and Naomi is also a mean and dirty biker.
No, wait. Not dirty. Not dirty at all. It’s the cleanest biker bar ever! Gleaming it is. Fans of GTA IV, just picture the Lost & Damned clubhouse but as ran by a germophobe.
Meanwhile, back outside the bar, another biker rolls up, an older guy. He looks like he could be the leader and hey, he gets gunned down by one of the guys lurking in the truck, so probably so.
The other bikers, led by Bo, Curtis and Heath Slater fire off rounds after the truck. The assassins are both wounded in the gunfire but manage to make their escape. The bikers swear vegeance and mount their hogs. They’re hog wild!
Now, these are the cleanest motorbikes you have ever seen. Like, astonishingly well-maintained. What kind of a tough gang is this? $10 says the boss was called Pussy Hands.
At last, we see our first glimpse of The Miz. He’s still the same marine as in The Marine 4, but he’s changed jobs again. He was a marine, then he went into private security. Now, Miz is a paramedic. Or, he’s undercover as a medic, maybe? Why has he changed jobs again?
John Cena says “Never give up”. What is The Marine’s gimmick, “Always give up”?
Anyway. He’s been called out to the scene of a terrible crash. Some lady has driven into the side of a building which is under construction, bricks and boards everywhere.
Why, it’s Maryse in the car! She’s trapped under some rubble, in the driving seat. She screams, as the Miz tries to keep her calm and get her out. More rubble looks set to fall from above, threatening to crush her. It’s a race against time!
Can Miz do it? Yes! He pulls Maryse to safety from the car. Hooray! She should be okay, it looked like she had just really badly skinned her knees. I guess she’s going to be Miz’s love interest in this movie!
Miz carries his beautiful real-life wife away from danger, over to where his partner is waiting. They administer care to Maryse, but no, it’s too late! She goes into shock and succumbs to her injuries. Skinned knees?
Miz’s EMT partner is a young who, visually, is Not-Dexter’s Sister, from Dexter. She tries to revive Maryse — for all of 2 seconds, before giving up. Miz won’t hear of this, and administers CPR for a further 3 seconds before also giving up. Just like you did with that private security job, Miz.
Maryse’s character, ladies and gentlemen, is dead. It’s a sombre moment. Also very surprising! I haven’t been so surprised by the death of a minor female character in a film, since Councillor Troi from Star Trek:TNG died from a broken arm, in Death Wish III! Which you really must watch, by the way.
Back to the film. Miz is heart-broken or angry or something. Because of that woman (Maryse) dying because of him. That’s okay! I’m sure he’ll save some other hottie, and redeem himself. His female EMT partner. They’ll end the film smooching it up, you mark my words.
There’s no time now for Muppet-mouthed Mike “The Miz” Mizanin to mournfully mope, as the EMTs get a call from dispatch. There’s some guy having a heart attack! To the rescue!
But! Miz and his lady partner are unaware that the call really came from those in the truck who murdered the bikers. They’re hiding out in their truck, in the parking garage of an amusement park.
The EMTs are forced to get out of their ambulance. as the parking garage entrance isn’t tall enough to admit the ambulance. The fairground has never needed an ambulance before? This seems like a pretty major oversight when they constructed this public venue. Jeezus, I hope they never need to call the fire service.
The EMTs wander around and find the truck. One guy, the Middle-Eastern fella, the guy who actually did the shooting, is dead, sat in the passenger seat.
Miz figures out that there must be an accomplice, “What, he called then climbed into the passenger seat?” This is played up as a big detective moment to establish that The Miz is full of all kinds of Marine training and smarts.
Although apparently not enough for him to stick it out as a career.
The EMTs find the other gunman, who is still alive nearby, if wounded. No, not a gunman – he was just the driver. The female EMT — I’m sorry, none of us can really remember her name at all, so let’s call her The Fabulous Moolah — treats his wounds.
“It’s not my first time treating a gang-banger”, she says. That’s fine love, what you do in your private life is your business, you enjoy yourself. Don’t let anyone try and stop you having fun, while you’re young enough to enjoy it.
Meanwhile, The Lost & Damned from GTA IV arrive on bikes, first the guys, and then Naomi bringing up the rear. Naomi… I can’t quite put my finger on it. She looks different somehow in this scene. Smaller. Less muscular. Uh, kind of paler.
Hey, remember on Total Divas, where she was all excited for getting the film role, but also scared because she had never rode a bike before? She’s done well here, learning to ride a motorbike. And how to alter her DNA, it appears.
The bikers hunt the EMTs and their wounded charge, whose name we learn is Cole. Cole? As in, Michael?
The Miz tries to get a phone signal, to establish that there’s no way that he can get a phone signal down there, and to establish further that this is Die Hard but-in-a-multi-storey-car-park. Miz Hard.
Naomi stalks him through the parking garage. My wife says she can never decide which is better, Naomi’s chest or Naomi’s butt. I know exactly what she means. Here, she’s wearing a bra made out of bullets and looks like she wants you to step into the Thunderdome, so she can kick the shit out of you. It’s a great look!
Miz reunites with his partner The Fabulous Moolah and Cole, and try to escape in Cole’s truck. They drive off, the injured guy rolling about in the back, unprotected, an easy target. Great Marine-ing there, Miz.
Y’know, something about watching Curtis Axel blasting away with a sawn-off shotgun at the truck reminds me of Terminator 2. That’s high praise, here.
Axel finds the power box. He flips on the lights, as menacingly as anyone can. Bo starts getting his crazy on, declaring, “Let there be light!” Both of these former Social Outcasts are impressing me a lot so far. Bo especially, with his meatier part. As it were.
Bo tells Axel to head off on his bike, drive off a couple of miles away, to where the phone tower is. If they destroy that, then their prey will be really on lockdown! Axel gets on his bike to drive the couple of miles to the tower.
Then we see him arrive. Amazing.
No respite for Miz here either, as the signal tower is of the easily hackable variety found in all modern Ubisoft video games; Axel is able to disable it as easily as if he was playing Watch_Dogs.
Bo lights up a cigarette. I can imagine Vince adding this to the script, “Ahh, show him smoking a cigarette! Only real pieces of shit smoke, everyone knows that!”
The stalk is over as Naomi corners Miz. He retaliates by shocking her with paddles. She in turn pulls out a knife! They fight, Naomi getting the upper-hand before Miz takes her knife from her and stabs her with it. She slumps and dies, looking pretty unhappy about doing so.
The Fabulous Moolah has a plan. She tells Cole to stay put, while she runs off in no particular direction and screaming wildly for The Miz to help.
Unfortunately for her, Curtis Axel is as good at playing Road Rash as he is Watch_Dogs, and he chops her down on his bike.
She is wanted back at the ambulance, where dispatch are trying to contact the missing EMTs. Bo Dallas channels his inner Goldberg, and smashes the ambulance window with his arm. He forces the EMT to call in and say she’s doing okay.
Just in time, the caller was about ready to signal for help to be sent in, if she hadn’t been able to get through to the EMTs.
So, to make sure that can’t happen again, Bo destroys the radio. Huh?
Meanwhile, Miz administers more morphine to Cole. They haven’t given any other kind of care, just pumped him full of morphine. I imagine that if he tried to actually treat his wounds, a veteran would come by and look disgusted that they aren’t saving the ice-packs for someone who really needs them, like The Undertaker or The Mountie.
The bikers have on them the motto, “TRUST LORDS OF GAS TOWN”. They are, or they do?
Miz tries to lure the baddies into a trap, pretending that the already dead guy was a lone guman.
The bikers come to inspect the body. Miz lurks in the dark corners and taunts them. Axel responds by firing his sawn-off shotgun off into the far corners of the garage. Inappropriate shotgun usage in films is just the worst.
Hooray, the bikers buy it, and go to leave. Except, wait! Bo reneges on his word, and shoots the female EMT right in the forehead! Crimson is everywhere (not the TNA guy). The Fabulous Moolah is dead.
Woah, Bo looks super evil. Great villainous looks from here and all through this.
So, Miz. Way to go on that whole “Redeeming yourself for the loss of that hot chick earlier” angle. Maybe you should think about getting a new job again dude.
The 2nd-in-charge of the bikers arrive and informs Bo that no, there were two gunmen. Bo realises he has been tricked.
Axel hunts Miz, who is down to his last bullet. He brandishes the weapon he’s held this whole time, his sawn-off shotgun, and declares,”Outta bullets heh? Well, I gotta lotta bullets!”
Shells, Curtis, shells.
He grabs an axe, “The axe man cometh!” Nice. It looks like game over for The Miz!
Cole stabs Axel in the neck with the morphine. Axel pulls out a gun. Okay, so that will have bullets. Way to go before Axe-Man, you made us both look foolish, thanks a lot. Anyway, he gets killed. I’m too angry about the bullets debacle to describe how he dies.
By now, I’m surprised that there has been no kind of intervention from whomever is watching the security cameras here. They’re at a fairground, the kind of public location which supposedly attracts terrorists like ants at a picnic. It’s due to re-open in two weeks. Where the hell is the private security company? You know, a private security company such as the one The Miz used to (briefly) work for, before he gave up. Again.
More bikers arrive and it’s time to bring the big guns — Heath Slater has arrived.
Meanwhile, Miz gives a blood transfusion to Cole. Hopefully they’re the same blood type, or Miz is a universal donor. Ah, I’m probably just over-thinking it, nobody really understands what blood is or even where it comes from or what it does.
I’m really distracted by how much The Miz’s EMT bag looks like a British Royal Mail bag full of letters. “Dear Miz, you are clearly a Muppet come to life. Was it due to good magic or evil magic? Are we talking Pinnochio or that Smile Time episode of Angel, here?”
Cole reveals that the only reason that he got mixed up in killing the bikers’ leader was because he was in prison. In there, he was offered protection. But after he got out, he was told that he owed for that protection, and that this killing was how he had to make payment, if he wanted to ensure his family’s safety. Man, Payment Protection Ensurance scams are just the worst. Yes, Insurance.
Cole and Miz try to escape via the elevator. Cole is trapped inside as Bo and the bikers try to force their way inside. Miz is on top of the elevator, fighting a guy. He blows off the guy’s foot and then shoots his brains out!
We now finally leave the parking garage and make our way into Great Peaks (RIP, Maryse’s character). We are exactly 1 hour, or two thirds into the movie. That’s some nice pacing. And I like how so far, this movie has been filmed almost entirely in what I suspect is the WWE parking garage.
The park is switched on, with various rides active, flashing lights etc. But how? Because Axel turned on the lights for the parking garage? Okay, I guess it’s just all left turned on for some reason then.
Hey, is this fairground the battleground of the title? What was the parking garage then, the battle pre-show? This is like Roadblock: End Of The Line all over again.
The Miz makes his way through the park, stalked by another biker.
He stalks Miz through a Haunted House. Not the ride, the walk. Know what I mean? It’s the kind that you walk around in and have things jump out at you, not the kind where you sit in a car.
Actually I’m pretty sure that it is just a room and not any kind of fairground attraction at all. It could well just be some room in the WWE office basement!
Except that it’s really dingy and filled with dirty pans and filthy knives and looks like some kind of hillbilly serial-killer preys on anyone unfortunate enough to enter there. So, it’s the TNA offices, then.
More baddies arrive at the park, by smashing through a flimsy gate in their truck. Hey, continuity with the ridiculously low ceiling of the parking garage ramp-way!
Miz finds the power box. But… the park already had power. He just went in that Haunted House.
Anyway, now that everywhere is all lit up, and visibility is at a high, Miz decides it’s time for him to stage his one-man assault against the biker gang under cover of light. That’ll be his elite Marine training, I guess.
In all of this, Bo gets Cole alone and questions him. Bo learns the truth. Of course, the gang’s Vice President was the one who ordered the hit! He wanted the power for himself!
Bo stabs the Benedict Arnold and steps on him. Pretty tough… woah, Heath Slater just repeatedly stabbed the traitor to death. Intense!
Bo wants to burn the black guy! Uncomfortable.
Fortunately, it’s at this point that Miz arrives in his ambulance and rescues Cole. Miz drives away as Cole sits in the back, watching out as Heath Slater chases after them as they drive off in the truck. I’m getting that Terminator 2 vibe again!
Cole snaps Heath Slater’s neck, which involves wrapping Slater’s neck in a leather restraining strap. Not strap! Championship! Sorry, Vince McMahon.
Miz and Cole end up in some building which is under construction, or something. Not the same under construction building where Maryse crashed and died earlier though.
How can I describe it? Imagine a parking garage, with some decorating tables out here and there, a bit of plastic sheeting up in places. The kind of parking you might find in, say, the basement of a successful Conneticut-based Sports Entertainment company. Imagine that!
At last, we’ve been building to this – it’s time for Bo and Miz to fight! Bo charges Miz through lots of thin partition walls in a really cool shot.
Then Bo repeatedly punches Miz in the face. Hard. And one too many times! But in a good way. Bo has really done a number on Miz. Miz coughs up blood, seemingly with his last breath.
At last, Bo corners Cole on a roof-top balcony and taunts his prey, threatening the man’s family for his part in the payment protection ensurance plan.
But wait, from behind, it’s Miz! With a vicious swing of a crowbar to Bo Dallas’ thigh!
The Miz coldly informs Bo that he’s severed an artery, and without the proper medical care, Bo will die.
You know, visually, The Miz really reminds me of someone else here. Heath Slater? That’s not right. Never mind. Anyway, it’s cool that this film is wrapping up in the day-time, in bright sunlight. Makes a nice chance after so much of the movie was filmed underground during the dark night.
Miz goes to leave, but Bo guilts him into remembering his Hippopotamous Oath. Plus, hey, Miz! What about Cole! He’s sat RIGHT THERE and you’re just going to leave them both to bleed out? Cold, Miz, very cold.
Agreeing to help, Miz returns to Bo, but it was a trap and again, they fight.And this time, Bo goes flying off the roof of the building! Very cool visual as Dallas makes like Hans Gruber and falls to a bad-ass death.
With Bo dead I think that means the gang are all wiped out, or at least, without a leader. The day has been saved and some of Miz’s fellow paramedics arrive to help him. Except these guys seem competent.
Cole is off to prison, “At least I’ll get to see my kid grow up.” But… you’ll be in prison. “At least I’ll be out by the time my kid graduates!”, surely?
And with that, his work done — whatever it was — The Miz walks off the scene. Off to find a new job, a new town, a new love interest.
I’ve watched all of the Marine films and damn near every other WWE studios film now. How would I rank this among them?
It’s… possibly the best one yet! It didn’t drag at all. Bo Dallas made for a great imposing villain! Heath Slater and Curtis Axel both made fine back-up, especially Axel, with that beardy viking charisma of his and more screen-time. Naomi and Maryse both were fine but only briefly featured. Naomi at least got a pretty cool fight scene.
It’d be stupid to try and compare this film to something like The Godfather or No Country For Old Men or Spymate. This deserves to be rated alongside the like of Predator, The Running Man or Assault On Precinct 13.
So, with that in mind, I’m going to award The Marine 5 a rating of 6 / 10. There are much better action movies out there! But there are also a lot — a lot — of far, far worse films. Some of them by WWE Studios. Hi, 12 Round 3: Lockdown!
I definitely would recommend The Marine 5 to any fans of action movies. Just don’t expect a classic and you’ll have a lot of fun.
In conclusion then… did you see John Cena’s expresion on Smackdown, after he smacked Nikki Bella’s ass on camera for the third time?
That’s all for now. Enjoy Wrestlemania Splat!