The Marine (2006)
John Cena, and plenty of explosions, star in this tale of a recently discharged marine who must get right back into the thick of things after his wife Kate (Kelly Carlson of Nip/Tuck) is kidnapped by diamond thieves.
The heroic John Triton (John Cena) survives one death-defying situation after another in his efforts to snag his wife back from the bad guys, led by Robert Patrick (best known as the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day).
Patrick’s role was originally intended for Al Pacino, while Cena’s role was originally intended for “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. I’m sure Austin would have been fine, but the producers really dodged a bullet when Pacino declined the role. Cena, a beloved and skilled professional wrestler, proves to be just as capable of a leading man, and would have acted circles around Pacino, making old Michael Corleone look foolish.
The Marine crosses many genres. It is a war film. It is a romance. It is also a straight-up action film. One can certainly make the argument that it is the finest film to be released in any of those genres. And I am that one.