The Marine 3: Homefront Review

I cannot claim to know much about FBI tactics in a hostage situation. However, I can say with certainty that approaching the stronghold of a well armed financial terrorist head on with limited cover is stupid. Even in the midst of bad guys who cannot hit a thick WWE wrestler at point blank with assault rifles, going in bullheaded will get you killed. Shocking no one, it does.

The Marine series has become a dumping ground for mid-tier professional wrestling personalities, a franchise once helmed by the current industry giant John Cena. Since, the likes of Ted Dibase Jr. and now reality TV star turned wrestler The Miz have taken their turn. Whatever mildly budgeted spark the first one had has long since been extinguished.

It is with relative certainty that partial funding for this direct-to-video action slog was paid for by us: taxpayers. Marine 3 opens with a monologue by Miz spouting off Marine propaganda, the likes of how he traveled the world, served his country, and made a decent living. You do not see Miz here; this is all done behind footage of actual Marines, culled from any number of TV advertisements. There’s government waste and there is Marine 3.

But, the Miz’s military career is over as the film opens. He served his decade, and now he returns home to his two sisters. If the film sets anything up, it is that military training merely inserts a mean streak within our soldiers. Hours after returning home, he is embroiled in a menial bar brawl, tangling with the cops, and walking around flustered. The Incredible Hulk exhibits better self-control.

Danger is afoot though as a disgruntled middle classer is sick of America’s wealth. In fact, he is so tired of it, he robs banks just so he can burn their money in the ultimate display of showmanship. Pope (Neil McDonough) despises greed so much, he holes up in an abandoned ferry that has been rotting for the better part of a decade. That, or the location was cheap enough for this production. It’s probably the latter.

Twist and turns follow far enough that Miz’s sister (and her stock boyfriend) are captured by Pope, leading to the inevitable clash. The movie has to stall first though. Miz’s wrecking spree is intercepted by the FBI who proceed to divulge Pope’s motives, history, and more to civilians. Who knew it was so easy to secure information from a government agency?

This builds to the FBI takedown that sets new comedic records, and of course the Miz going commando to do what the FBI could not. One decent low budget fist fight aside, the action is leisurely and gunfights preposterous. At one point, despite being wide out in the open, Miz is missed by four rounds that pass by on each side of him. No one shoots that poorly, doubly so after taking out an elite unit of agents.

Miz (real name Mike Mizanin) doesn’t have the charisma or charm to sell more than fluffy comedy on screen. He probably has more spark as a villain instead of a hero, the hammy performance here hardly setting up a future acting career. Marine 3 wanders into the bargain bin along with the rest of the WWE’s low budget schlock.

Movie ★★☆☆☆ 

Suddenly, the idea of an explosion match didn't seem fun @ 1:20:20

A quickie digital production, Marine 3 feels like it relied on post for much of its look. Namely, saturation is rarely present, choosing a muted, almost entirely gray scale for much of its running time. Primaries occur only within the opening scenes, and even then flesh tones are sickly pale.

Credit however to how clear the imagery is. The window effect is actually eerie, so precise that even with the dramatic loss of color, this one can often appear real. The Red One pulls duty without any notable noise or other digital error. Aliasing is no issue, and sharpness is king. Black levels never reach true black, although generally speaking, they are on par with any other direct-to-video feature as of late.

Fine detail will come and go dependent on the shot. At its peak, facial detail is outstanding, and occasionally faltering into a filtered state. Focus can also play a pivotal role as with any film. Exteriors are exceptional, especially fields and shots of the dilapidated boat.

Some of the footage comes from either stock sources or SD cameras. The jarring difference in quality is certainly strange for general shots of logging operations. Moments of first person views down the barrel of a gun are expected. General photography simply makes it stick out for unexplained reasons. The quick production weighs on Marine 3 in every regard.

Video ★★★☆☆ 

Marine 3’s DTS-HD mix is one of those, “Is this working right?” movies. In this case, your speakers are not busted: Absolutely nothing comes from the surround channels. It is not your equipment. With some stereo use, this should have been a DTS-HD stereo mix (exactly what this is) and the confusion would have lessened.

Regardless of the missing surrounds, there remains a lack of LFE activity too. One of the villains snags a grenade launcher during the FBI assault, and those explosions barely register in the subwoofer. A few smashing cars likewise have little to give. The film’s final fireball is the only one of any note, offering the bare minimum.

Audio ★★★☆☆ 

Extras are predominantly in place to sell The Miz as a movie star, but he is far more of a personality than actor. Shipwrecked is a promo that details the location and the rotting boat. Miz Rocks the Boat follows the film’s star as he runs through the interiors as a follow-up. The Miz: Declassified details his life, wrestling career, and his role in the movie.

Casting Call is the best bonus here as a random fan was chosen during a WWE event to have a small role in the feature. This follows The Miz delivering the news and the guy’s moments on set as a FBI agent. Miz’s Journal tracks a typical day on set from start to finish.

Extras ★★★☆☆