Active-duty Navy SEALs, whose names have been changed to protect their identities, take on some bad guys in one of the most realistic action war movies ever in "Act of Valor."
The film aims to put the audience "in the boots" of real Navy SEALs. Even many of the bullets used in the film were "live fire." Without a real plot, though, the film relies on a first-person narration style to explain what's going on for most of the 90-minute movie. Drug dealers, bang. Terrorists, bang. People shooting at SEALs, bang. Anyone who gets in their way is "DOA." All you really need to know is that the Seals are the good guys and they are out to get the bad guys, plain and simple.
I suspect that most people who go see this film aren't really worried about the acting or the plot line. They want to see some real American heroes, and they'll get it. No doubt about it, these men are not just great patriots – they embody all that's good and true about human nature and sacrifice.
"Act of Valor" is a wonderful example of cinematic chaos. Who lives or dies isn't as important as the experience. It's a real visceral thrill for the viewer. We are truly lucky to have people like this serving our country and protecting us each and every day. So the Flick-o-Meter gives "Act of Valor" 3 out of 5. It's a lavish recruiting tool for the armed forces.
With the movie based on just action we never really get into any character development, and that is where I think it fails. I was never bored but I was never overwhelmed, either. The acting was on par with a high-school play, and I never understood the security issue with revealing their names. Is it not a security problem, then, to put their faces out there in a major picture opening in thousands of theaters?
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"Act of Valor" opens at today.