Act of Valor (2012)
Directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh
Starring: Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Jason Cottle
An elite team of Navy SEALS has been asked to go into enemy territory to rescue a C.I.A. operative who’s been abducted by a terrorist group. With modern technology, teamwork, and guts, these SEALS are off to save one of their fellow citizens. Each of them is leaving behind a family and friends, with no guarantees of coming home alive.
The United States Navy took a bold step forward in their recruiting practices when they allowed Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh to use real Navy SEALS in this film. The resulting film gives a more realistic portrayal of the skills and physical fitness required to be a SEAL. It also tells a good story designed to showcase the way the Navy utilizes these soldiers.
Without using big names, this movie is surprisingly well-made. The story was pretty straight-forward, so it didn’t require Oscar winners to play the major roles in the film. The supporting actors who played the family and friends, as well as the enemy, all did a good job as well. As expected, the real star of the movie is the action. The combat shown in the film is intense and impressive, showcasing some of the tactics used by real SEALS.
With action taking the lead role, the acting does slow down the pace quite a bit. With untrained actors, the dialogue can get robotic at times, and this unfortunately makes the story less involving than it would be otherwise. This also kept the film from delving deeper into the lives of the men, which would have added a tremendous amount to the overall movie.
This film was a commercial success, topping the box-office on opening weekend. This success came despite less than enthusiastic reception from the critics. The movie also managed to earn a Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song, for “For You” performed by Keith Urban.
This was a fun movie, with a good story that made it entertaining. It’s not going to take home a ton of awards, but it was surprisingly better than most films that choose to use non-actors as main characters. If you like war movies, or action in general, this is one you should see. It is intense, so kids might not be the best audience. I give this one 3 out of 5 stars.