Ever wondered what it would be like if Die Hard took place at a tropical holiday resort? Well whether you wanted it or not, The Marine 2 delivers exactly that. Well, it delivers exactly that but without all the high octane action and adventure of that film. While the location shoot looks very nice (no doubt a great little holiday for all involved), it’s not that great a film.
Joe Linwood (Ted DiBiase – the younger) is on an island resort with his wife Robin (Lara Cox). She’s there on business for her generally unpleasant boss Darren (Robert Coleby). Then terrorists arrive, take most of the guests hostage, including Robin, and Joe has to work to save them. If the Die Hard parallel wasn’t obvious before, that should clear up any confusion.
But as a Die Hard clone, is it any good? Not really, no. Sure, the likes of Michael Rooker and Temuera Morrison are reliable enough, but there’s not enough meat on the script to really stretch their abilities. Morrison gets more from the script than Rooker, mostly because he gets to play the bad guy. He plans on teaching these rich people a lesson, something about Western expansion into indigenous cultures or something. He’s surrounded by a group of faceless/nameless henchmen that exist solely so they can be bumped off by our heroic lead. Rooker meanwhile gets to wisecrack and make light of almost everything – in other words, playing it perfectly to the established WWE Films formula. He’s not quite the sidekick, but that’s essentially his role.
So what about our lead, Ted DiBiase Jr? As you might expect, he’s very good at the physical action sequences, of which there are a fair few. For everything else he’s about as wooden as driftwood floating through the marina. He’s never asked to emote anything beyond mild confusion and, occasionally, broadly angry. It’s a shame because with a little more effort from all involved he could have provided a decent performance.
The only scene I liked the look of was the opening missile attack by the terrorists. Thankfully director Roel Reine doesn’t follow in the footsteps of John Bonito, who directed the first film. Bonito has an 80s-style obsession with filming an explosion from twenty different angles. Reine has his own grittier visual style and it suits the film well. It’s just a shame that it doesn’t make the terrorists a credible threat like Hans Gruber and his crew were.
If you’re looking for a cheap action film that doesn’t ask you to think about it too much, then this might be the one for you. For everyone else, and those who are more discerning about their action movie choices, a few mildly entertaining action sequences aren’t enough.
And they missed a trick by not having DiBiase replicate his father’s maniacal laugh. Just once would have been enough. Look, I know that was never his gimmick in WWE, but it would have been a fun nod and a wink to the audience at least. Hey ho.