Written for RAF News May 2016
Corporal Evan Albright (Charlie Weber) is a Marine with high marks and the newest to join the forces at the US Embassy in an unnamed Middle Eastern territory, but his goody-two-shoes keenness will make him enemies before he can warn them that the Ambassador is under threat.
Shown through the compound and assured of its high level security, the films subtitle connects the dots for you if you hadn’t sussed it already – they’re not as secure as they think. Outside the gates are some local protestors and one particularly shady looking guy (Hadrian Howard) with ties to Islamic State can be seen with a camera focussed on the guard tower – this doesn’t look like a broadcast for Al Jazeera, at least Albright doesn’t think so.
The new recruit’s standalone attitude is his weakness, looking out for himself and ‘killing’ his entire squad in a training exercise so that when he finally has cause for concern no-one cares to listen. They see him as a hot-shot, John Wayne, but he’s more like John Cena, the professional wrestler turned actor – cartoonishly American in looks and attitude: pronounced chin, inflated features and patriotic to the point of ‘pissing red, white and blue’.
With an extremely simple story, loosely based on the Benghazi attack of 2012, it is coloured in by out of place dialogue that jumps from soppy inspirational lines to throwaway quips. In amongst the Yanks are a few Brits affecting accents – the standout performance being that of Scott Adkins as Gunnery Sergeant Raines, the badass of the bunch who proves himself handy with a sniper rifle.
Once the Embassy is inevitably breached, cue endless shots of scarf-clad terrorists folding like rag-dolls under gunfire. With a bodycount so high that it gets boring, Jarhead 3 couldn’t be more different from the first in the franchise, which made a point of showing very little action. A very standard film that does exactly what it sets out to do, kick terrorist ass and chuck in in the odd buzzword to make it relevant #Oorah.