The Marine 6: Close Quarters is exactly what you’d expect it to be, maybe less.
Mike “The Miz” Mizanin returns as ex-marine Jake Carter for the fourth time. Unfortunately, he is quite forgettable. I don’t blame him, however, as he’s rarely the focal point of the film. He makes the action look good and delivers the dialogue as well as you could hope, but does noticeably struggle with a key emotional scene near the end. It’s a shame when a title character doesn't feel necessary to their own franchise.
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels plays Luke Trapper, Carter’s former commanding officer, and holds his own next to Mizanin. Their chemistry is fine, but you never believe they are as close as the filmmaker would have you believe. Michaels is central to many of the films comedic beats (intentional or not, mostly not), but they don’t play for laughs because they’re out of place tonally. I'm sorry, but when someone falls into a grain silo and a giant piece of rebar impales them, I have a hard time believing they would be affected so little. This is a very bleak and washed out picture, both visually and narratively, and Home Alone(ish) gags don’t work in that setting.
The Marine 6 delivers an enjoyable villainous performance from Becky Lynch. Her motivations are clear and simple. Her father is on trial for murder and she’s holding one of the juror’s daughter’s hostage as leverage. Sure, she’s one-dimensional, but for this film, which focuses on the heroes rescuing the girl, we didn't need much more. Becky seemed to be channeling the spirit of Michael Rooker in Guardians of the Galaxy. Every time she reached for her knife I pictured Yondu and his arrow.
Craig Walendziak’s script is overly expository and relies heavily on coincidence. The dialogue is on an Anakin Skywalker “I don’t like sand” level of bad, and reminded me of the exchanges you'd hear in a video game. It’s unforgivable. He sets-up a (seemingly) The Raid inspired escape scenario, which had potential, but was missing everything else that made those films so incredible. Director James Nunn, not Gunn, Nunn, brings equally little to the table. This an action film and yet there is no sense of excitement or energy. The pacing is so bad that by the 40-minute mark I was ready for it to be over.
WWE Studios’ latest installment in The Marine franchise plays like the season finale of a floundering TV procedural. It’s formulaic and devoid of charm. There’s too much other quality content right now for you to be spending your time on this. Feel free to skip it.