The United States military service has always been there for stability and protection of the country and its citizens first and foremost. Most people don’t think about the day-to-day basis of what these brave soldiers have to go through to protect our country from threats by risking their lives in active duty.
That being said, “Act of Valor” has failed as the blockbuster movie it wanted to be.
Some movies portray the grit, grime and heartbreak involved with serving our country very well (Think “The Hurt Locker” and “Saving Private Ryan”).
“Act of Valor” tries to accomplish a grittier version of this, as we meet a group of Navy Seals on their mission to rescue a captured officer from the CIA and stop a terrorist plot against the United States while they’re at it.
Sadly, the movie didn’t bring the realism of the Navy Seals as they advertised and instead, chose to go in the route of a fast-paced, action propaganda flick.
Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh first created The Act of Valor to be a recruitment video for the Navy Seals. Later, they changed their mind and decided to make it into a very realistic action film.
However, it was clear from the film direction that they were looking for people to join up for service.
The post-9/11 fear factor was fully apparent from the start, thanks to the narrator’s dialogue during the opening and editing credits, which showed names of people who died in their own “Acts of Valor” after 9/11.
While the sacrifice these people gave and the daily reminder their names stand for can’t be denied, the effect of this ploy made the movie feel like nothing more than a propaganda piece instead of a realistic insight into Seal’s lives.
It was clear that the influence of the Armed Forces told them to make it into a positive light no matter what the circumstances were. They always came off as the victors despite the odds and for the most part, had none of our troops killed.
The film depicted the Seals’ tight-knit, brotherly bond in the beginning of the film before they went back on duty together. They build up this range by always being there for each other in their times of need.
The emotional range of the movie begins to grow in the beginning. The Seals then leave their families to do their part and the personal growth dies quickly following that.
Instead, the movie takes a turn in favor of action sequences and their sense of duties in the job. This is not a horrible thing, but the action sequences are fairly unbelievable when they jump into fighting scenes without knowing how many men they are facing.
(Spoiler alert) All foes are vanquished all too quickly and easily. If there’s anything the American people have learned from America’s recent wars, it’s that nothing is accomplished without sacrifice.
Act of Valor uses the contents of “realism” loosely. The actors are real off-duty Seals but the acting is expectedly unbelievable.
The story line, however, is all over the place and contains immense sets of action scenes that completely corrupt the good bits of the story.
They also move very fast between locations.
The Seals travel from Iraq to Russia and Mexico. The plotline involving a threat towards the United States from both Middle Eastern terrorists and Russians is strange and a bit off the wall.
The Seals take advantage of a new type of explosive that can’t be detected by electronic scanners but can cause a much larger explosion than C4. This was another annoying plot device that made the contents of the film more unrealistic.
The combat and first person shots were mediocre but were very brief and made everything look like you were playing a real life version of Call of Duty.
“Act of Valor” is a bit too much to endure. There are better movies that depict the military standard of realism that won’t tease you in the way this film does.
It’s infuriating when a movie doesn’t deliver on its aim. “Act of Valor” hardly comes up as any more than an act of mediocrity mixed with some military propaganda. This is not a movie that audiences haven’t seen a million times before and will most likely just fade into the background never to be heard from again.
If you want a disguised action movie failing to pay the role of an intelligent military movie then this is the film for you. If not, you can dismiss this one soldiers.