The Marine is a 2006 action film starring wrestler John Cena. The film was directed by John Bonito, written by Michelle Gallagher and Alan B. McElroy and produced by Joel Simon. Produced by the films division of World Wrestling Entertainment, called WWE Films, and distributed in the United States by 20th Century Fox, the film received a PG-13 rating from the MPAA for "intense sequences of violent action, sensuality and language". However an unrated version was released on DVD and Blu-ray.
- John Cena as John Triton
- Robert Patrick as Rome
- Kelly Carlson as Kate Triton
- Anthony Ray as Parker Morgan
- Abigail Bianca as Angela
- Damon Gibson as Vescera
- Manu Bennett as Bennett
After returning home from Iraq, former Marine John Triton (Cena) and his wife Kate (Carlson) decide to take a vacation. Meanwhile, criminal mastermind Rome (Robert Patrick) robs a jewelry store with his accomplices: his attractive girlfriend Angela (Abigail Bianca), Morgan (Parker), Vescera (Gibson), and Bennett (Bennett). While running from the cops, they stop at a gas station, where John and Kate have stopped as well. When a patrol car arrives to fill up, Morgan murders one of the officers while Rome injures the second officer. After Bennett knocks John out with a fire extinguisher, Kate is kidnapped. Morgan shoots at the gas tanks, causing the store to blow up with John inside. John survives, emerging to take the abandoned patrol car. He gives chase, with every single member of the gang shooting at him. They go through a construction area, and to the edge of a lake. Under heavy fire, John falls out of the car and into the lake.
The criminals decide to travel through the swamps to avoid the police, still with Kate as their hostage. John revives and, despite an officer denying him permission to, he continues to pursue them. After an altercation between Morgan and Vescera to show how crazy Morgan is, Rome decides that they have no further use for Vescera and shoots him, leaving the body for the alligators. Kate gets into heated arguments with the group, Angela especially, who strikes Kate whenever she insults her or tries to escape.
The criminals eventually arrive at a shack and rest there for the time being. Triton gets delayed when some fugitives attack him. He subdues them both and tracks the gang to the lodge. He arrives and kills Morgan, who was sent out to turn on the electricity, with a knife that Vescera dropped when he was killed. He then kills Bennett when he goes out to check on Morgan, beating him down and stomping on his neck. As he drags the bodies under the shack, the police officer he met earlier "grants" him further permission to do what he must and turns off the electricity for a distraction.
Kate takes advantage of this and rushes out of the building, only to be pursued and captured by Angela. John crashes through the window and meets Rome for the first time in his journey. The cop also enters the room and points his gun at John, revealing himself to be working with Rome the whole time (and thus the mystery individual Rome tried to cut out of the deal in an earlier phone call). Rome opens fires at Triton, but he uses the corrupt cop (V.B.) as a human shield. Rome makes his escape and joins up with Angela and the still captured Kate before firing at a gasoline tank and destroying the shack. John makes a narrow escape out the window.
Rome takes V.B.'s car and drives off, but because of the police monitor, they have to abandon it, and Angela hitchhikes and shoots a truck driver to steal his trailer-less. John is arrested by an officer in a boat and steals the vessel after handcuffing the officer, heading for Rita's Marina (the destination he heard the criminals speaking of earlier). John arrives and sees the truck cab, jumping onto the back. He then sees a bus heading the opposite direction and runs along the running board to the passenger seat where he opens the door, grabs Angela by the neck, and throws her into the bus's windshield, killing her and spilling the diamonds. Rome then knocks John off the truck by driving into the side of a building and careens through a warehouse, leaping out before the truck crashes through a window into the lake beyond. Triton confronts him in the fiery warehouse and thinks he kills Rome by burying him in debris after a vicious battle. He rushes to rescue his wife, who is handcuffed inside the sinking truck cab, dragging her from the water and administering CPR successfully. A badly-burned Rome returns and chokes him with a chain. John turns the tables and breaks Rome's neck with the chain and the scene ends with John and Kate kissing.
The script for The Marine was originally written with Academy Award-winner Al Pacino in mind for the part of Rome, the criminal and Stone Cold Steve Austin as Triton, the lead. After Austin and WWE parted ways in 2004, the role of John Triton was given to John Cena. Al Pacino turned down the role of Rome due to the low salary offered. After Pacino turned it down, Patrick Swayze was considered for the role of Rome, which was given to Robert Patrick.
Principal photography for the film was actually shot and completed in 2004. In order to cover for John Cena's absence from WWE events a storyline was written after Carlito beat Cena for the United States Championship, saying that he was stabbed by Jesús, the bodyguard of Carlito and was taking time off to recover.
Filming was done at Movieworld in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The Marine Base was filmed at Bond University. The part in which skyscrapers are shown is the downtown area of Brisbane, Australia, in addition to being filmed throughout the outer areas of the metropolitan area in bush land.
Originally planned for a January or February 2006 release, it was later moved to Spring 2006, then September 8 (which was changed because former professional wrestler The Rock's Gridiron Gang was released September 15). It was finally released to theaters on October 13, 2006.
The film was released on DVD on January 30, 2007. It is available in "Rated" and "Unrated" versions. The Blu-ray version was released on February 13, 2007, with a DTS-HD Lossless Master Audio 5.1 track and a 1080p HD transfer. The Region 2 DVD was released in the UK on May 7, 2007.
Box office performance
In its first week, the film made approximately $7.1 million at the United States box office. In its first weekend, it placed #3 in domestic sales. On October 22, 2006 BoxOfficeMojo.com reported that The Marine had dropped to #9, grossing $3.79 million. Even so, ratings were poor, and the movie garnered a 21% rating from RottenTomatoes.com.
After a total of ten weeks in theaters, the film grossed $18.7 million domestically. Worldwide, The Marine earned $20,226,432.
The Marine is noted as being WWE Studios's most successful film to date, beating out its predecessor See No Evil, starring Kane and its successor The Condemned, starring Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The movie was largely panned by critics, Jim Slotek of the Toronto Sun referred to it as "a movie so dull, it might actually cause brain damage." Critics have also complained about the movie's reductive dramatization of Marine operations in Iraq, and its lack of respect for the military.
The Marine 2, released on December 29, 2009, starring WWE superstar Ted DiBiase, Jr. in the lead role. Unlike the original, it will be released direct-to-DVD. Also unlike the original it will be rated R instead of PG-13. WWE superstar Randy Orton, who was a former Marine himself, had originally been scheduled to play the lead role but could not do it due to a collarbone injury. The movie is inspired by true events.
The Marine was the #1 most rented DVD in its first week of release. By March 2007, it had made over $24 million in home sales and rental. Overall, the film made $30 million in rentals in the first twelve weeks.