REVIEW: The Marine 5 – Battleground (2017)

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2017, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/WWE Studios/Hemisphere Entertainment

Director:
James Nunn
Producer:
Michael J. Luisi
Writers:
Scott Wiper (original characters)
Declan O’Brien (original characters)
Ed McHenry (screenplay)
Rory McHenry (screenplay)
Cinematography:
Luke Bryant
Editing:
Paul Harb

Cast:
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin (Jake Carter)
Anna Van Hooft (Zoe Williams)
Nathan Mitchell (Cole)
Bo Dallas (Alonzo)
Heath Slater (Chase)
Curtis Axel (Deacon)
Trinity “Naomi” Fatu (Murphy)
Maryse Mizanin (Ana)
Sandy Robson (Vincent)
Yusuf A. Ahmed (Taylor)
Paul Acheson (Rodrigo)

WWE Superstar Mike Mizanin is back for a third round of action as Jake Carter, the titular Marine. However, this time around, he is joined by five of his fellow superstars with some action that proves that with time, one can truly improve.

Cole, a parolee, and Taylor, another man, are hired to shoot Rodrigo, the leader of local biker gang The Lost Legion. When Taylor performs the hit while Cole is the driver, the group are shot at. Taylor is mortally wounded while Cole is seriously injured. To escape the bikers, Cole drives to the parking lot of a closed down amusement park where he calls 911. The EMTs are Zoe Williams and her new partner, former Marine Jake Carter, whose on his first day on the job.

After unsuccessfully saving a young woman from a car accident, Carter feels remorse. However, when they arrive to the parking lot entrance, they find a dead Taylor and a seriously injured Cole. Things get complicated when members of the Lost Legion have arrived as well with the plans to find Cole and Taylor. When they learn the EMTs are there to treat them, they decide to cause havoc. However, what they will soon learn is that EMT Carter will do what it takes to save both his partner and Cole, even if Carter learns the truth about what has transpired and why.

When Mike Mizanin, or simply “The Miz” as he is known in the WWE Universe, took over for John Cena and Ted DiBiase in The Marine franchise, it was met with a bit of resistance. However, Mizanin did well enough to warrant his returning to the role in a superior follow-up in The Marine 4: Moving Target. Once again, Mizanin is now going round three as Carter, who we now know has given up his private security job and found his calling as an EMT. WWE truly seems like they have found their new action star in Mizanin, who judging from his performance here, has improved with each installment since his debut in The Marine 3: Homefront.

What makes this quite interesting is not just the plot, which is all set in one night’s time at a closed down amusement park is the core supporting cast. Aside from local Canadian actors Anna Van Hooft and Nathan Mitchell, who perform well in the roles of Carter’s partner and the man he must protect, there are a total of six WWE superstars alongside Mizanin, with The Miz’s real-life wife Maryse in a cameo appearance. The other four superstars, Curtis Axel, Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, and Naomi (aka Trinity Fatu) as members of the Lost Legion.

Out of the group, Bo Dallas brings the most impact to his role of the unhinged Alonzo. When seeing Dallas’ character in the squared circle and compare it to his role here, he truly brings it quite well in the role of a lead villain. Curtis Axel provides some heavy muscle against The Miz with a fight scene in which Axel’s name gets played on quite well in his role of Deacon. Heath Slater and Naomi get minimal action in their roles and seem like something one would usually expect normal stunt performers to play, but this does add a bit of WWE “star power” to the roles.

The action not only consists of firepower, but fight choreographer Andrew Chin utilizes the talents of the cast and despite a few minor flaws in the action, they are for the most part pretty well done. There are loads of close quarter combat with The Miz using not only some wrestling skills but uses mainly a style similar to Krav Maga in his arsenal when it comes to hand-to-hand combat. In one interesting part of the film, Carter wisely uses the entire amusement park as his battleground (pun intended) against the Lost Legion.

The Marine 5: Battleground is an improvement over the previous two films as it is clear that Mike Mizanin improved with each film as Jake Carter. With the support of his fellow WWE superstars, specifically Bo Dallas in his villain role, this is truly a heck of an action-packed installment in the franchise.

WFG RATING: B

DVD/BLU-RAY

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