Saturday, February 25, 2012

Act of Valor Review

The only thing Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh’s new movie “Act of Valor” has going for it is realism. It’s about the Navy Seals, so real, active Navy Seals are used in the film as opposed to actors. There are rescue missions that are taken from real life missions and live gunfire is used. As impressive as that all may sound “Act of Valor” is one of those rare movie cases where the subject is far more interesting than the actual movie itself and that doesn’t add up to a good motion picture.

I’m not really going to go into who any of the individual Seals are, because they are who they are. The only thing I will say is that as cool as it sounds to have active Navy Seals you need actors because Navy Seals may be able to kill and rescue people but they can’t act.

Don’t get me wrong, I have complete and utter respect for all the men and woman who are currently in the Navy Seals or any other branch of military but there has to be more to a movie (unless it’s a documentary) than just a strong subject. There’s no emotional spark in the picture, besides the fact that these are Navy Seals, and worst of all there’s no dramatic edge. The script (if you can call it that) by Kurt Johnstad is just a bunch of rescue missions poorly glued together and that glue is a series of boring and badly acted scenes in which the Seals small-talk to one another and the bad guys scheme.

 As for those rescue missions, as realistic looking as they are they’re still surprisingly clinical with no excitement in them. The battle scenes in Ridley Scott’s “Black Hawk Down” were far more gripping, simply because there was something at stake. “Act of Valor” holds as much weight as one of those Army Strong commercials.

Look, I know the filmmakers had good intentions, but in the end “Act of Valor’s” only purpose is honoring the troops, and that isn’t enough. As a tribute to the Navy Seals I guess “Act of Valor” succeeds but as piece of filmmaking it’s a failure, pure and simple.


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