I must admit to not having seen any of the sequels in this series. I remember checking out the first, mostly because Robert Patrick was in it. But the others looked pretty weak, although I can’t attest to their quality. My preconceptions for this movie was, well, there’s a waste of 90 minutes if there ever was one. The movie actually turned out better than I’d expected. Average, not terrible. Which isn’t to say it’s good, but by DTV standards, especially the fourth in a series of such movies, I think some might even call it a measured success. Only if you temper expectations though.
Standard actioner groundwork here. We have a marine, or ex marine (but once a marine, always a marine) progressing into a world of private security. First day on the job. He’s assigned to protect a high value asset who has been targeted for termination, after she blew the whistle on a top dog private contractor. And so, Mike ‘The Miz’ Mizanin must protect Olivia (Melissa Roxburgh) in what is essentially a 90 minute chase sequence. There’s not much else to say, but honestly, if you expected much else, you probably should’ve known better.
The visuals in this movie are refreshing for such a cheap feature, nice cinematography filmed somewhere (looks like) in north western America. Nature is always a good way of hiding a lack of funds. Second, staying with those visuals, those fearing wild shaking cameras can exhale in relief – you can see who is shooting at who. I was also ready to dislike ‘The Miz’, because he’s one of the reasons I simply refuse to watch wrestling these days. I found the man annoying, and not in a good, kayfabe type of way, rather as having ‘X-Pac Heat’ (look it up). Surprisingly though, while no Bruce Willis, he gives a serviceable turn here as relentless grunt protecting hot damsel. Bit wooden maybe, but I’d have to wonder why they haven’t pushed this side of him on TV instead of that shitty showbiz anchor deal he had/has going.
The guy is a bit stiff though, which I’d hazard a guess… he might be carrying some type of injury. That’s often why wrestlers get to appear in movies, time out to heal. Here’s the biggest problem with the movie though and it caught my attention immediately – fake muzzle flashes. You can tell that no bullets, not even blanks, are being fired. It’s kind of annoying and looks cheap as shit.
This also introduces another problem, because when you’re using blanks in a movie, there’s only a certain amount you can shoot. But with gunshots done on a production house computer, it can lead to the temptation to have non stop gunfire. And in this movie, there must be 1.2 trillion rounds discharged, with probably 20 bullet wounds or less in total. It almost reminds me of that parody scene in Hot Shots, where Charlie Sheen stands atop a mountain of M60 bullets firing at another man doing the same.
I’m going to be very generous to The Marine 4: Moving Target and give it a six. Hoped for more hand to hand combat though…