(Original Publication Date: December 3rd, 2016) By: John M Jerva
Starring: Scott Adkins, Charlie Weber, Dennis Haysbert
DIRECTED BY: William Kaufman
The Plot: Evan Albright (Weber) joined the Marines to see the world and of course see plenty of action.When he is stationed at the American Embassy in a seemingly quiet Middle East city. his days are filled with mundane tasks such as cleaning the windows, doing charity work for the ambassador and honing his video game skills. Gunnery Seargent Pete Raines (Adkins),who is in charge of the security force, sees a lot of himself in Albright and knows he is a good Marine. Unfortunately, Albright’s lone wolf attitude doesn’t sit well with the rest of the team and that leads to confrontations between him and Raines.
On one routine day, Albright notices a suspicious man video taping the embassy and its defenses. Upon further investigation, Albright finds out that it’s a radical militant by the name of Khaled. The only problem is Khaled was supposed to be killed in a drone strike weeks earlier, and when Albright brings his findings to the ambassador, he is dismissed without a thought. Albright is right and Khaled launches an all out attack on the embassy that catches all off guard. It seems Khaled is after his brother who was captured by C.I.A. agents and is being detained.
Albright, Raines and the other handful of Marine guards must now take it upon themselves to protect the embassy and civilians inside. Outnumbered and outgunned, Raines must lead a battle inexperienced team into do or die combat to get everyone out alive. To most it would ne suicide, but these are United States Marines and they are about to unleash hellfire on all that get in their way.
The Review: Just like the second film, Jarhead 2: Field of Fire, this is a sequel in name only to the original Jarhead starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Jamie Foxx. Some have criticized movies like this because they say movie companies are trying to cash in on name recognition by releasing direct-to-DVD films that have nothing to do with the original but I don’t agree. The original Jarhead was far from an action film as it was a character study of the lives of Marines during the first Iraq war.The sequels, however, are high-octane war pictures made on a budget. I for one liked Jarhead 2 for what it was, a fast paced military shoot-em-up. With that in mind, I loved Jarhead 3 even more. This is one of those direct-to -DVD titles that knows exactly what it is and what it wants to do, and that is entertain action lovers. It flat out entertains with spades.
Besides Scott Adkins and Dennis Haysbert, the rest of the cast is virtually unknown and that works in its favor. Leading the charge is Charlie Weber (TV’s How To Get Away With Murder) who plays Evan Albright. Weber looks the part of a Marine and is convincing in the action scenes. The supporting cast led by Sasha Jackson, Erik Valdez and Tom Ainsley do their best and are all given moments to shine. The only weak link is Dante Bosco (Blood and Bone) who plays a journalist filming the whole incident. He is suppose to be lending comic relief to the tension, but just spends the entire movie whining and complaining. The rock solid Dennis Haysbert (24, The Unit) is great as always, but is mostly in an extended cameo role. The great Scott Adkins is in more of a supporting role this time, but does get to kick some ass with a rifle instead of his hands and feet.
Now lets talk about the most important thing…the action! Clocking in at a brisk 1 hour and 28 minutes, the film doesn’t offer a lot in terms of character development, but that’s O.K. The first 30 minutes gives you what you need to know as Albright arrives in country and we see the interaction between him and the rest of the cast. It’s pure plot setup, because at the 30 minute mark, Jarhead 3 explodes into a non-stop barrage of gunfire.The last hour is one long firefight as Raines, Albright and the team take on the insurgents. The action is fast and pretty violent and director William Kaufman (Sinners and Saints) shoots it in a way that you can see it. This man knows how to direct action. The only way for you to catch your breath is to pause the movie and go get a soda.
The one flaw I had with the film, was how the movie used Scott Adkins. I’m fine with the fact that he was in a supporting role, but I just wanted to see more from him. I’m sorry, but I’m a fan and when you have one of, if not the best, onscreen fighters in your film, for god’s sake, use him. There is one close quarters combat fight scene in the movie and Adkins is nowhere in sight. I’m not sure but that might be illegal. Anyway, I digress. We will just have to wait for Boyka: Undisputed and Hard Target 2 to see Adkins unleash all of his action fury. Jarhead 3 is a nice filler in the meantime. I would love to see Scott headline another military action-thriller in the future and kick butt with weapons and martial arts throughout the entire movie. Come on Hollywood, give him his due already!
Aside from some flaws, Jarhead 3: The Siege is a high-octane military action film that delivers what it says it’s going to do, and that’s to give the audience fast paced, in your face combat. It’s not a huge Hollywood film, but it succeeds for the budget that it has. I wanted a good shoot-em-up, and that’s exactly what I got. Job well done.
The Verdict: ACTION-FLIX APPROVED!
Jarhead 3: The Siege is now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, VOD and Digital Download!