Act of ValorWritten by administrator
Directed by TV-commercial Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, who are both former stuntmen, the movie has a kind of gritty realism to it, and very succinctly captures both the tension and adrenaline that Navy SEALs experience while on mission. Because the movie wasn't originally supposed to be a commercial feature, the filmmakers got unprecedented access to military equipment. This, along with the visceral quality with which the action sequences are shot, further heightens the authenticity and realism of the film.
The film opens with the Navy SEALs rescuing a kidnapped CIA agent (Roselyn Sanchez), and while making their escape, is pursued by terrorists. The ensuing chase sequence is exhilarating. It turns out that the abducted agent had begun to uncover a jihadist plot in which suicide bombers planned to attack several American cities, with the aid of a jacket filled with explosive gel. The SEALs must find the terrorists before they make their way into the United States via Mexico.
The film’s characters are played by real life – and very square-jawed – Navy SEALs. These people are sturdy gatekeepers of peace and courageous warriors, and they are probably a lot more things to other people, but they are simply not good actors. On the plus side, they nail the tactical and militaristic aspects of the film, from the way they move, the way they position themselves, and the way they react to a dire situation. And yet, one gets the feeling they are more live-sized action figures than fully-fleshed humans. These guys have no discernible personality, and they seem all interchangeable with one another. Let’s face it: even in the armed forces, with its reverence for teamwork and its emphasis on the subservience of the self to the mission at hand, people have personalities. And in this film, we see none of it.
After a while, the explosions and the gun-slinging gets dull, and as the body count piles up, one starts to wonder if one were supposed to care for the deaths of the Navy SEALs. Our suggestion is, if you want a good, engaging narrative featuring the armed forces, go play games like Call of Duty 2. It’s a lot more interesting, and you will actually care about the characters in it.
Summary: Starts to dull exponentially as the explosions and gun-pelting grow increasingly repetitive mid-way through, with no strong central lead and no memorable character.
Rating: 2/5 Raymond Tan