Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Marine 6: Close Quarters

Whitey Bulger is now pushing up daisies and nobody feels sorry for him. Even before this rather acceptable news, we could well understand why another Irish mob boss would want to avoid prison. His strategy has been hanging juries by targeting jurors’ family members. However, his plans will go up in smoke when not one, but two Marines stumble across his gang’s latest victim in James Nunn’s The Marine 6: Close Quarters (trailer here), which releases today on DVD.

Jake Carter, the EMT hero of the last three straight-to-DVD Marine movies, is accompanying his old comrade Luke Trapper as he pays a house call on an old homeless vet squatting in an enormous abandoned factory. Trapper works for the VA, but he refuses to ever visit a doctor, so you do the math on that one. Regardless, as Carter and Trapper make their way through the strangely empty squatters’ paradise, they stumble across Sarah Dillon, who is being held against her will by the gangster’s homicidal daughter Maddy Hayes and her disposable henchmen. Fighting ensues.

That is pretty much the long and the short of it, aside from several allusions to Last Year at Marienbad and a lengthy explanation of the sub-prime crisis. This is definitely a meat-and-potatoes, throwback action movie, but its unabashed patriotism and workman-like grit are rather refreshing.

Not to be spoilery, but Craig Walendziak’s screenplay has the guts to pull a third act surprise that will forever alter the course of the Marine franchise, but it should still keep chugging along regardless. Where else will you find this many pro wrestlers in dramatic roles. It is easy to see why Mike “The Miz” Mizanin’s comfortable screen presence as Carter has worn well with fans. Shawn Michaels cranks up the energy and the attitude and just generally brings the fun as Trapper. However, the real discovery for non-wrestling fans is Becky Lynch, who has real crossover action star potential, based on her scene-stealing and scenery-chewing work as the villainous Hayes.

Worry not, even if you are not familiar with the previous five Marines, you should be able to follow Close Quarters just fine. It doesn’t set its sites too high, but it hits its target. There is a complete lack of pretense here and we’re okay with that. Recommended for fans of the WWE and old school Michael Dudikoff movies, The Marine 6: Close Quarters is now available on DVD.