Somewhere in the sunny state of South Carolina a marine returns home to his loving wife. Somewhere else a gang of thugs steal twelve millions worth of diamonds, killing three people in the process. And somewhere along the line the fates of these two coincide, when on the run the criminals - led by the charmingly psychotic Rome (Robert Patrick), kidnap this marine man's wife and drive away with her hostage.
An explosive showcase of action follows, with car chases that could almost rival the Bad Boys one, and fiery finales for each segment of The Marine's race against time; to save his wife. His name's John btw. John Cena.
The plot, pace and choreography are on a whole other level than the sequels with this one, not just in regard to how it's done, or the cast, but in the budgeting everywhere. It shows not just in how polished the pandemonium is, but in the surplus of wrecked cars and blown-up houses along the road, already worn out ones or no.
John Cena plays the main role with conviction - no matter what other reviewers seem to say about that, and makes this one movie really stand out before the sequels. Can't take all the credit away from the successors, cause they were badass too, but just imagine what it could've been like with Cena through all the sequels! And the girl. And villains like Rome (the one disappointment I have is that he loses his intimidation factor as the plot rolls along - entertaining as some bits may be) and a budget like this.
Overall this might be one of my favorite action movies of all time. It's not the deepest, and not the darkest, but definitely one of the most ferocious ones, even with the calmer phases between showdowns.
I'm not sure I knew about Cena the first time I watched this, but I'm definitely a fan now. He has the perfect personality for this kind of role. Gladiator. Fighter. Fearless action hero.
For those who love action: this is it.
rated 4/5: fo shizzle