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The Gratuitous B-Movie Column: The Marine 6: Close Quarters

March 26, 2020 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
The Marine 6: Close Quarters

The Gratuitous B-Movie Column Issue #548: The Marine 6: Close Quarters

Hello, everyone, and welcome once again to the internets movie review column that has never been thrown down any sort of shaft, The Gratuitous B-Movie Column, and I am your host Bryan Kristopowitz. In this issue, issue number five hundred and forty-eight, I take a look at the fifth sequel in the The Marine franchise, The Marine 6: Close Quarters, which debuted on home video in mid-November 2018.

This review contains major spoilers. You have been warned.

The Marine 6: Close Quarters


The Marine 6: Close Quarters, directed by James Nunn (he also directed The Marine 5: Battleground and Eliminators), is the fifth sequel in The Marine franchise, and the fourth and final sequel starring Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. As a low budget, direct-to-video action flick, it’s not bad. There’s more good than bad about it. As a part of The Marine franchise, it sits somewhere in the middle of the six movies made so far. It does contain one of the most shocking moments in the franchise to date, though, so it does have that going for it.

The Miz once again stars as Jake Carter, a badass ex-Marine who is still a badass EMT (he started that job in part 5). When we first see Carter in Close Quarters he’s sparring in a gym with his old buddy and fellow ex-Marine Luke Trapper (Shawn Michaels). After they beat the shit out of one another and engage in some witty, bad ass “guy” banter, Trapper asks Carter to help him out bringing food and supplies to Tommy (Tim Woodward), an old retired Marine that lives in an abandoned factory on the edge of town. Trapper works for the Veteran’s Administration and this is the kind of thing he does all of the time. At first, Carter isn’t too interested in tagging along because it’s his day off, but Trapper is his friend and, hell, day off or not it’s not like he had anything important to do. So Carter and Trapper head off to help Tommy.

Now, while all of that is going on, Sarah Dillon (Louisa Connolly-Burnham), a female student, is on the run from Maddy Hayes (Becky Lynch), the daughter of a notorious international criminal that’s on trial in, I guess, federal court. Maddy and her gang plan to kidnap Sarah to influence her father Patrick (Alec Newman), who is on the jury of the big trial. Sarah puts up a good fight, but she’s no match for Maddy and her gang of thugs and is captured. Sarah is then taken to Maddy’s gang’s hideout, which just so happens to be in the same abandoned building that Carter and Trapper are headed to.

Ha. What are the odds of that happening?

So Carter and Trapper show up at the building, meet up with building owner/administrator/whatever Graham (Michael Higgs, who I, swear to God, thought was Eugene Levy for like five seconds), see and interact with Tommy (I’m assuming that Tommy has some form of shell shock because he’s a little out there), and then accidentally run into Maddy and her gang. At first, Carter and Trapper assume that Maddy and her gang are just a bunch of squatters living in the building, but then Carter looks at Sarah, sees that she’s scared, and decides to try to help her. Carter’s action leads to Maddy and her gang springing into villainous action, and suddenly it’s war. Carter and Trapper take out several of Maddy’s thugs, grab Sarah, and try to get the hell out of the building. Maddy and what’s left of her gang go after them. The rest of the movie is Carter, Trapper, and Sarah trying to evade Maddy and her gang. There are multiple hand-to-hand brawls, gun battles, and chase scenes. There’s also an absolutely disgusting scene where Carter has to fix up Trapper after Trapper falls down a shaft and is impaled on a metal spike. Carter cleans up Trapper’s deep fucking chest wound, then fills the hole with gun powder and cauterizes it. If you don’t wince when the gun powder flash happens you’re not paying attention to what the hell is happening. Trapper has a hole in his chest and Carter puts gunpowder (gunpowder) into it. What the fuck?

I don’t know if I completely buy the big hooha coincidence at the heart of the plot for The Marine 6: Close Quarters. Yes, these kinds of things do happen in movies all of the time, but what are the odds that Carter and Trapper would be in the exact same place as Maddy and her gang? Even for a movie plot the odds are astronomical. And I would have liked to know a little more about Maddy, her gang, and the big trial that sets off the “Sarah” part of the story. I don’t need a five minute interlude on who all of these people are, but the movie couldn’t spare a minute to explain what the deal is with the trial and why it’s a big deal?

At least the movie has some decent hand-to-hand fight scenes. The Miz does his usual good job in his fight scenes, and Becky Lynch sure knows how to kick ass. The big surprise is Michaels. Despite looking broken down and in pain when he’s walking (it’s all in his legs), when he has to fight a bad guy he looks like an old action movie pro that’s been doing this kind of thing for years. Check out that opening sparring scene, where Carter and Trapper kick the crap out of one another in a gym somewhere. It’s amazing. The great Tim Man is the movie’s fight choreographer and he makes everyone look good. Great stuff.

The movie also has some decent suspense scenes, like the shaft sequence that ends with Trapper being impaled. The scenes underground are also chock full of suspense. You, just like Carter and Trapper, have no idea where the tunnels go and anyone could pop out at any moment. And the tunnel set is both spacious and claustrophobic at the same time, something that you rarely see.

Okay, so why is Close Quarters so damn shocking? Jake Carter doesn’t survive until the end. When was the last time you saw any franchise that not only killed off its star, but also didn’t make a big fucking deal about it? Carter’s death, which happens with about ten minutes left in the movie’s runtime, comes out of nowhere and doesn’t feel right at all. Yes, Carter does sacrifice himself so his friend can escape, but why is Carter sacrificing himself? Wouldn’t it make more sense for Trapper to sacrifice himself since he’s the new character in the franchise? Isn’t that how this kind of thing is usually handled? I mean, unless the plan is to have Michaels be the new The Marine, which I doubt it is, why do this at all? You’d also think that a character that’s carried a franchise for four movies would get a bigger death scene/the movie would make a bigger deal out of him dying. Carter does get a nice career montage at the very end, but so what? Did The Miz have to die because Shawn “I won’t do the job for you” Michaels, well, refused to do the job? I wonder.

At least The Miz and Michaels have good buddy chemistry. You actually believe, most of the time, that they’re old friends. Some of their “old buddy badass banter” is a little shaky, but when they’re not recounting their time in Afghanistan and they’re just talking you can sense their connection.

The Miz does a decent job as Jake Carter. He doesn’t seem to be as engaged as he was in The Marine 4: Moving Target or The Marine 5: Battleground (part 5 is his best performance in the franchise hands down), but he looks good in his action scenes. And, again, he has good buddy chemistry with Michaels, and that’s one of the things that makes the movie watchable. And I’ll say this again, The Miz deserved a better, more meaningful send off. The one he gets is just underwhelming.


Shawn Michaels, in his first action movie role, looks like an old pro as Luke Trapper. He looks terrific in the various fight scenes and gun battles he’s called on to do, and he does a good job in his non-action scenes. Yes, some of his line readings are a tad stiff, but he never sounds like an idiot and shows that, if he wanted to, he could be a movie star. I know I wouldn’t mind seeing him do a few more action movies. I don’t know if I want to see him as the new The Marine, but if WWE Studios wanted to do some other sort of action movie with him? I’d watch it and Michaels would probably be damn good in it.

Becky Lynch does a great job as Maddy, the leader of the kidnapping gang. She’s a cold, calculating, vicious bitch who instills fear in her underlings because, despite being smaller than most of them, they all know that she can kick their asses. And when she springs into action, holy shit, you don’t want to mess with her. While it’s true that Maddy could be described as a “generic” action movie villain, Lynch gives her an edge that makes her stand out. Much like Michaels, Close Quarters is Lynch’s first action movie role, and if she wanted to she could be a viable action movie star. I know I wouldn’t mind seeing her in another action flick, either as the hero or as another villain. At the moment, Lynch is one of the top stars in the WWE and pro wrestling as a whole, and if WWE Studios decided to make some sort of action franchise around her I bet it would work. People would watch.

The rest of the cast is fairly generic. No one really stands out, not even Tim Woodward’s Tommy. Tommy should stand out more than he does, but for whatever reason he never comes off as more than just a guy. There’s nothing particularly special about him.

The Marine 6: Close Quarters is a pretty good, low budget action flick. It isn’t anything special, although, considering what happens in it, the movie should be more significant than it is. It’s very watchable, though. Is it the last one in the franchise? Who knows? Someone else will have to be The Marine, though. That’s obvious.

See The Marine 6: Close Quarters. See it, see it, see it.


So what do we have here?

Dead bodies: 35

Explosions: Multiple.

Nudity?: None.

Doobage: Two guys beating the crap out of one another in a gym somewhere, the woods, kidnaping, generally unsafe firearms handling, cockroaches, a bag of food, door smashing, wallet stealing, knife through the chest, wicked shotgun blast to the chest, attempted door opening, hand breaking, barfing, jury intimidation, wall blasting, a bloody nose, fucking around with a phone, multiple bullets to the head, a door locking montage, attempted shimmying down an old laundry chute, sandbag attack, chest impalement, bloody spike removal, dropkick, hammer to the head, neck breaking via chain, Taser hooey, fucking gross chest wound fixing, potential throat stabbing, multiple ambushes, total shelf destruction, exploding propane tank, a brief man on fire gag, some really bad jury behavior, underground tunnels hooey, more and more henchmen, attempted strangulation, serious fucking neck breaking, an unexpected sacrifice, knife to the chest, a big ass yacht, face spitting, more neck breaking, hurricanrana, a fucking beatdown, a rope and anchor, and an ending that isn’t as sad as the movie wants it to be because the movie really doesn’t make as big of a deal out of it as it should.

Kim Richards?: Attempted.

Gratuitous: The Miz, Shawn Michaels, The Miz and Shawn Michaels beating the crap out of one another, Becky Lynch, super obvious green screen truck driving, Shawn Michaels saying “asshole,” raccoon, throwing a brick down a laundry chute, The Miz executing a dropkick, dumping gun powder into a gaping chest wound in order to cauterize it, booze drinking (for the pain), a lame T-shirt, The Miz throwing a propane tank, multiple light sticks, a double underhook suplex, guy shit, Shawn Michaels doing an insane jump from a dock onto the back of a boat in slow motion, Shawn Michaels saying “I’ve never really been good at losing,” a montage of The Miz in the other The Marine sequels he did, and an ending that isn’t as sad as the movie wants it to be because the movie really doesn’t make as big of a deal out of it as it should.

Best lines: “You still hit like a girl. There’s nothing wrong with that,” “I taught you that. I know,” “You should’ve gotten in the car,” “This place looks like a war zone. Wait until you see the inside,” “Take it easy, Graham, we’re going to be in and out,” “Who the hell are you? I’m Jake Carter. That supposed to mean something to me?,” “Unbelievable!,” “Whatever you say, Maddy,” “Keep your head down and keep swinging,” “Lock this mother down!,” “I slipped. Ya think?,” “You’re a stubborn sonofabitch, you know that?,” “Stop! Screaming!,” “Don’t let me die in this,” “You up for this, old man?,” “I’m gonna die in this shirt,” “See that? Hard to miss,” “Grab a gun. Let’s finish this!,” “Do us a favor, huh? Keep that shit to yourself until we get out of here, okay?,” “That ain’t daylight, kid!,” “You think she really looks like a squatter?,” “I thought you didn’t have a phone?,” “Don’t worry, sweetie. We’re going to shoot her in the head and dump her body in the harbor,” “What are you going to do with that, jarhead? Improvise. Overcome,” “Well, it looks like we’re not going to make it for tip-off,” “I can’t believe it. After six tours I’m gonna die in a tunnel with another man’s rifle,” “Jesus, Jake,” “Get Sarah. Finish this!,” “Goodbye, marine,” “If this dude has a brain he’s halfway to Portland by now,” “Nice shirt. Did you happen to bring my knife, by chance?,” “Oh, I expected more from you,” “This is a fight you can’t win, marine,” “Semper Fi, brother. We’re even,” and “I should probably go to the hospital. Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.”

Rating: 6.5/10.0


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The Marine Movies Ranked

Because, when you finish a franchise (or, at least, watch all of the movies in that franchise so far) you need to rank them when you’re done reviewing them. So here’s my rankings for the entire The Marine franchise so far.


The Marine 2
The Marine 5: Battleground
The Marine (tied)
The Marine 4: Moving Target (tied)
The Marine 6: Close Quarters
The Marine 3: Homefront


Things to Watch Out For


Hunter’s Moon: This star studded low budget horror flick was originally titled The Orchard, and it’s apparently about a sheriff that ends up fighting a werewolf in the woods or something. There’s also a group of young people in it, too. Anyway, Thomas Jane stars alongside Jay Mohr, Sean Patrick Flanery, and Amanda Wyss, and I think it looks pretty cool. I wonder why the title was changed, though. The Orchard isn’t as awesome or ominous as Hunter’s Moon, sure, but The Orchard is sort of mysterious. What the hell is supposed to be so scary about an orchard somewhere?


Bone Breaker: This appears to be some sort of mega low budget slasher flick where a group of friends head out to the woods and end up being hunted down by a killer that, I guess, kills people with a sledgehammer. Yes, we’ve all seen a movie like this one before (you know, people out in the woods, fucking around and whatnot, and they end up running for their lives because there’s a monster out there), but how many monsters use a sledgehammer? It can’t be that many. And how could you hate that title? Bone Breaker. That sounds badass. Very rentable.


Cabal: This low budget action horror flick comes to us from director Rene Perez, the man who brought us the awesome Death Kiss. Cabal is apparently about a badass assassin/hit man/whatever (he’s a masked man with a gun and kick ass martial arts skills) who is hired to take out a serial killer/monster that’s killing people in the woods. Or something like that. The trailer is one of the coolest I’ve seen in a good, long while, and this is definitely something I want to check out at some point. Fuck yeah this looks awesome.


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Well, I think that’ll be about it for now. Don’t forget to sign up with disqus if you want to comment on this article and any other 411 article. You know you want to, so just go do it.

B-movies rule. Always remember that.

The Marine 6: Close Quarters

Mike “The Miz” Mizanin– Jake Carter
Shawn Michaels– Luke Trapper
Becky Lynch– Maddy Hayes
Louisa Connolly-Burnham– Sarah Dillon
Terence Maynard– Shawn Taylor
Tim Woodward– Tommy Walker
Michael Higgs– Graham Torrence
Alec Newman– Patrick Dillon

(check out the rest of the cast here)

Directed by James Nunn
Screenplay by Craig Walendziak

Distributed by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Rated R for violence throughout and some language
Runtime– 85 minutes

Buy it here