Mike "The Miz" Mizanin plays former Marine Jake Carter who got a job and a fresh start for a private security company. It's Jake's first job as a private security guard and he gets the "privilege" of protecting 25-year-old Olivia Tanis. An angry and somewhat stuck-up rich girl who's antics finally got her in so much trouble that her dad's bank account can't even save her. Even if you couldn't tell this by her demeanor when she gets off the plane, Olivia tries to size up Jake and assumed he was the typical dumb high school jock turned Marine (she was wrong) and Jake ends up calling her out on all her faults (helps that he read the reports on her before hand). Before Olivia could come back with a witty retort -BOOM - one of the three SUV's used to transport Olivia was shot and blown up. They're ambushed and pinned down in the street surrounded by the woods. The security team that survived got out, protected the client and returned fire. And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is how all action movies should start. Get right to the action that we came to see.
The movie does a lot of things that will make action movie fans happy. First off, the villains confirmed their kills. Making sure there isn't that "we thought he was dead" situation. Also, the first thing Jake does after he takes out a target is take their guns and anything he might need later on. Thank you! My favorite part of the initial ambush was the bad guys having a sniper. The idea of shooting and hoping for the best is great, but having a sniper there to take people out is even better. It also doesn't hurt when it's an attractive woman who looks and shoots like a total badass.
I'm used to seeing the Miz being a arrogant. Someone who sometimes plays the coward, so I had no idea what to expect going into this movie. Even his role in Psyche was still a comedic role. Seeing him play a serious role was a pleasant surprise. Before starting the movie, I hoped that this wasn't going to be a situation where the Miz ends up being typecast and is forced to play the same role. Mizanin plays the role of the emotionless "I have a job to do" Marine great, but when the role called for him to show emotion, he did it well. The more the movie went on, the better he got. He did a more than solid job - especially in the final fight sequences where he goes into ass-kicking mode.
Melissa Roxburgh plays her role as the annoying kid who's used to getting her way better than you'd expect. The duo blended well together which is very important when you're going to have them in the movie together most of the time. Her character doesn't blindly follow, or assume that Jake is a good guy like a lot of damsels in distress tend to do. She made Jake earn her trust.
The antagonists are always a key to a "good vs evil" movie and the bad guys are exactly who they are supposed to be. On one side you have the hired guns. They're job is to get their target. They are equipped with the tech needed and nothing too insane or farfetched, they aren't a bunch of bumbling idiots who stumble over each other and get each other killed. They are skilled mercenaries and play their part as such. No jokes and no quips. Just the job. Matthew MacCaull plays a great douchebag. I found myself saying, "Will someone just kill him already!"
Action Movie Rating: 6.5
There are going to be the critics who are going to talk about the acting in this movie. This isn't Shawshank Redemption or a Shakespearean play. It's an action movie full of explosions, gunfire, and fighting. Rate a movie based on it's genre and you get a better review and more accurate rating. So, let's break that down. The fight scenes were believable. They didn't turn these guys into Bruce Lee or have anyone completely dominate any of the fights. The choreography was smooth and made the fighting look good and real. Is the movie entertaining? Yes, it absolutely is and at the end of the day, that's all that matters.
Action movies tend to have a lot more one-liners and a bit more levity. Marine 4 was definitely lacking when it comes to laughter. Then again, this was a more serious movie than a movie like The Expendables or even the first Marine movie. The movie does get a bit dry at times, but not so much that you'll want to give up midway through. Also, and I'll be completely honest, the acting can be a bit stiff. Not horrible, just stiff.
Watch this movie with your friends, grab a couple of drinks (adult or otherwise), order some take-out, and enjoy the action.