At Odds with Wrestling Homework – The Marine 4: Moving Target

It’s time once again for the wrestling movie club to meet. If you don’t know by now, each and every week without a big wrestling event, the At Odds with Wrestling podcast hosts assign wrestling themed viewings to each other as homework. This week we watched The Marine 4: Moving Target starring Mike “the Miz” Mizanin and former WWE Diva Summer Rae. An action packed hour and a half that occasionally makes huge leaps in logic, but still better than the 2023 Raw after Mania. 

The Miz is back as Jake Carter. In Marine 3 he was home on leave but this time he appears to be out of the service and is about to begin his first day in the private sector, as a bodyguard. He has the skills, he needs a paycheck, and he knows a few people in this world already. His first assignment, along with a bunch of other security – at least 3 SUVs worth – is to protect Olivia Tanis. Olivia has uncovered evidence that a military weapons manufacturer knowingly made a faulty product that led to the death of American soldiers. There are a group of mercenaries after her, and we have everything set up in about five minutes. The Miz is driving the car with Olivia and the two take some jabs at each other and what they assume is really going on in each other’s lives. That’s when the convoy is attacked by the aforementioned mercenaries and we are done with plot, character development, or anything else other than bullets and running. 

The convoy is attacked. Most of the security team is killed here by the mercenaries. Summer Rae shows up in the movie, and she’s one of the mercenaries?! Unexpected. I assumed any WWE talent would be a good guy in these movies. What a twist as we head into Marine 5 and 6 with more Superstars on the screen. She has maybe two lines in the whole movie. 

(Council of Grease meeting: Summer is here to show her tummy and run around in tight green pants. Standard mercenary gear. I’m surprised the guys aren’t wearing the same outfit. She takes off her shirt at the end of the movie and fights in a tank top. And that’s it. That’s the big role that gets her on the cover of the DVD and second billing.)

The Miz gets Olivia away from the gunfire and they run through the woods. Olivia does not trust him and becomes her own, and Miz’s, worst enemy. She wants to go to the cops. She doesn’t understand when Miz is lying to protect her. She sneaks up behind him and knocks him out with a rock. She is just a delight that is going to make someone very happy one day. 

Let’s see, the Miz and Olivia take out some bad guys and find the set of car keys on the right guy for the right vehicle. There are way too many mercs out there and only 4-5 in each vehicle. Miz just happens to find the one. I would have had an easier time believing they left the keys in the SUVs. They’re shot in the truck, in a boat, while eating green eggs and ham. Miz gets wounded but powers through it. I’m all over the place here chronologically but it really doesn’t matter. They get to a safe house. Some of the security also show up at the safe house. Big surprise, there’s a mole and he kills the only other good guy in the movie. Miz tries to buy some time and asks how much money he can get for Olivia. She hears this and continues to not trust the Miz. They escape as the rest of the mercs show up and this might be where she hits Miz over the head with a rock. 

Olivia runs for the police station. They call the Department of Justice or someone, a call which is intercepted by the bad guys. Miz figures Olivia ran to the cops as well. Everyone meets up at the police station where Miz and Olivia are sitting targets. The police station and everyone inside is shot up in a shockingly violent fashion. There’s a scene where the bad guys stop a cop car from leaving. While the effects were cheap, the gravity of the scene was unexpectedly heavy. Here I am thinking lady cop might be a late edition interesting character in the movie and nope, she’s gone too. Miz sends Olivia away. He’s prepared to die here in order to give her a running chance. At the last moment Olivia pulls up in a truck to rescue Miz. Again, I think I’m all over the place for what vehicle who was in when they were shot at but it doesn’t matter. Location, guns, leave by a vehicle, shoot at that vehicle until far enough away, go to a new location, bad guys get to that location as well, repeat. 

Are we in the woods now? Screw it, let’s say we’re in the woods now for the climax of the movie. Miz and Olivia have out run the bad guys. They’re hiding out in the woods. All the military training kicks in and Miz knows the bad guys will attack at dawn. So that means all through the night he and Olivia are going to prepare. Over the course of the next five hours they set up all sorts of dangers to take out the mercs. Two people in the pitch black woods cut and spike branches, tie things up with rope, set traps, build sniper hiding areas, and memorize the woods surrounding them so they can run through and trick the bad guys into the area the traps are in. The Marine 4 turned into a Home Alone movie so gradually I didn’t notice. 

Miz and Olivia lure the bad guys into the woods and kill them in a variety of interesting ways. Miz is to be expected. Olivia turns into a cold blooded killer pretty quick. Granted these people tried to kill her. But there is no hesitation or debate over murder. If this was the type of movie to give Olivia a backstory I would wonder if she has killed before. Summer Rae gets killed accidentally by one of the other bad guys and I have to imagine this is on purpose so Miz didn’t have to kill her. In fact, between the two movies I don’t think Miz has killed a woman. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a list of what his character can and can’t do per WWE. 

All the bad guys are dead. Miz and Olivia are walking out beaten, bloody, broken, bruised, but breathing. Fast forward some time later, could have been a day, could have been a week, and Miz is seeing Olivia off as she boards a plane to wherever witness relocation will be taking her. She gives Miz a peck goodbye and presents him a new suit. And that’s it. 

While I can go on for pages after pages for some other homework assignments, there’s just not that much minutiae to get into with the Marine series. I’ll give the plot and things that stood out to me, as always. However, there’s just not a whole lot deeper to pull from here. There are things I would do with the franchises and I could easily write some fan fiction, but none of that is what the audience is actually presented with. 

Maybe Marine 5 or 6 will start to develop the character or build the world, but I doubt it. There are interesting places a movie could take a character who has done multiple tours in a war zone and now twice has had to kill a lot of people to save the day. I greatly doubt it though. As disposable entertainment, the movies are a blast. This would be a perfect cheesy Saturday afternoon movie featured on your local non major TV network channel.

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