I’m not one of those people that has a polarized view of the military. Many of my friends here at the college and even some of my teachers have previously served or are currently serving in the military.
Don’t expect me to sing the film’s praises or tear it down because of any political views and/or agendas.
Now that we’ve got that out of the way…
“Act of Valor” is a film that focuses on a series of connected missions that take place over the course of a few days, starting with a mission to rescue a CIA operative.
One of the biggest marketing pushes of the film is that it stars a group of active duty Navy SEALs. By that they mean actual Navy SEALs, and not just actors. This was the result of the SEALs being frustrated that they weren’t being portrayed accurately, leading to a “why don’t you do it yourselves” moment in casting.
Though the acting is decent at best, you really get attached to the characters.
There are parts of the film that do drag a bit. In the first and last missions, they have a good pace, but there’s a middle part that I found myself falling asleep during what was supposed to be an intense scene.
The way this film was shot is definitely a step up from other action films. Instead of the extremely annoying shaky-cam, the shots were stable.
There’s one scene where the shaky-cam rears its unpleasant head, but it actually works with the scene.
Stylistically, this movie had a lot of things that were catering to fans of games like “Call of Duty” and “Rainbow Six”, with the dossier-styled introductions of the SEALs and mission-based transitions to different locations.
It also had shots that looked like the first-person angles one would see in a “Call of Duty” game, complete with a part that mimics the “Last Stand” mode players see when they’re low on life.
Overall, this film doesn’t feel like pro-military propaganda. It stays away from any current military conflicts, which works to its advantage.
If you’re a fan of games like “Call of Duty,” or any of the Tom Clancy games, you’ll find this film is worth your time. On my personal rating, I give “Act of Valor” a 3.5/5.