A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie pushes the envelope for PG-13 violence, with pretty much nonstop action, including plenty of fights, explosions, and injuries/deaths. Weapons include guns, knives, hammers, cars (as both assault and explosive devices), and a chainsaw. Bodies crash through walls and windows, burn, and blow up. Potentially disturbing images include a badly burned villain, a drowning wife, and action scenes that involve shot-up, bloody bodies. Other stuff to watch out for: An early sex scene between the hero and his wife shows them in their underwear, her legs around him as she sits on the kitchen counter. One character uses "f--k," and all the villains use other foul language. A couple of scenes show manly men drinking beer.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
After being discharged, Marine John Triton ( WWE wrestling star John Cena) must find a new job. He finds his opportunity to break heads and blow things up when he runs afoul of villainous Rome (Robert Patrick). Rome is revealed as a ruthless killer during a diamond heist, when he allows one hotheaded accomplice to shoot up the store and another to blow up a police car with a shoulder-mounted missile. John's initial encounter with Rome is accidental, but their relationship instantly gets personal when Rome's thieves kidnap John's wife Kate (Kelly Carlson). Encouraged by potentially shady Detective Van Buren (Jerome Ehlers), John tracks the villains and kills them one by one, usually with the help of some explosion-heavy, WWE-style body-whomping antics. Kate provides her own action by repeatedly fighting back against her kidnappers.
Is it any good?
THE MARINE's action is geared more for effect than for narrative. The spectacular explosions serve as background for men to leap toward the camera; the shooting scenes feature bodies falling and flying through the air; and the hand-to-hand fights, often framed in low angles so that bodies can hurtle more effectively at the viewer, typically lead to tough-guy patter. Here The Marine's plot bears a strong resemblance to those of James Cameron's movies: pursuit and assault, again and again.
The difference is that the Terminator movies featured knotty time-travel storylines, as well as complicated, engaging characters, while The Marine settles for action pieces performed by broad character types. In other words, it's a lot like a night of wrestling.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of breaking laws in order to achieve seemingly moral ends. While John's determination to rescue Kate is admirable, what do you think of his refusal to follow rules while making his outlaw opponents look "pathetic" or "crazy"? Do the ends ever justify the means? Also, how does the movie set up a specific conflict between Kate and Angela, so that the "girls" are set apart from the "boys" as adversaries? How does the movie use humor to diminish the effects of its violence (for example, Morgan as a butt for homophobic and racist jokes and Rome for Terminator jokes)?
- In theaters: October 13, 2006
- On DVD or streaming: February 13, 2007
- Cast: John Cena, Kelly Carlson, Robert Patrick
- Director: John Bonito
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: for intense sequences of violent action, sensuality and language.
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