Act of Valor

Reviewed by Alicia Glass 

Studio: Bandito Brothers

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh

Review Rating: 8

An elite team of Navy SEALS track and eliminate terrorists all over the world!

I did enjoy the movie, but then, my mother was in the Navy for 16 years. My husband has family who was in the military; a great many of my friends are former Navy nuts too. So most of us have an inherent appreciation for what the movie is trying to present – just how cool the Navy SEALS really are. All the other facets of their lives are present, in the forms of their families and poignant get-togethers on the beach or whatever, and there are plenty of sad-sad moments sprinkled throughout the movie, complete with their own long-pan shots and piano music. But every scene where the SEALS are under fire, down behind enemy lines, or getting the video game perspective gunshot shots, is done with love and pride, and an almost desperate desire to show off their badassery. Much is made of their sacrifice for our country, and I sure can’t dispute that. What isn’t really shown is the long and arduous training they have to go through to get to that point, but, if you’re watching this movie, that’s pretty much a given.

So we start off with the team being called into action, the last night before the mission where they have a family cookout, and the movie introduces each character on the team complete with a bio. (I like that, it cuts out a lot of unneeded blather.) After saying goodbye to all the families (and the narrator emphasizing how important that is), off they go on the mission, which happens to be rescuing a female Cuban operative who just happens to know too much. On precious little information, these SEALS do a HALO jump into a foreign country, at night. Okay, badass moment #1. Their discipline holds despite the screams of the target echoing into the jungle, and they do manage to get her, even though one of em takes a bullet to the face, and yet he’s still up and screaming. Badass moment #2. Off the team goes to, where is it Africa?, on another related mission, to catch a bad guy who’s off lounging on a yacht. The leader of the squad, called Senior most of the time for Senior Chief, does the interrogation of the caught bad guy, and I must say I would not want to be him for that. Badass moment #3. Yet another mission, to go catch the, let me see if I got this right, the Filipino Muslim Jihadis who are plotting to enter the US through Mexico armed with vests that explode in a very Swordfish manner. Badass moments abound!

The movie was advertised as having genuine active duty Navy SEALs starring in it, and I gather that was for accuracy’s sake. Which is fine, most of the movie IS entirely accurate, despite some of the video game-like shooting perspectives. I’m betting they did that on purpose anyway. As I told my husband when we watched it, anyone who’s played and enjoyed a first person shooter game, will get a great kick out of this movie!

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