Monday, July 2, 2012

Act of Valor on DVD

Well, if you want to know what it's like to be a Navy SEAL, watch Act of Valor, just out on DVD, starring real SEALS and detailing real tactics (just the actual plot is semi-fictional). But if you are looking for a feel-good movie, this isn't it. It's rough. There's torture and heartache, and the end (minor SPOILER alert), while making you proud of the men who serve our country in this way, also makes you glad you aren't married to one of them. As a mom, this hit me particularly hard, but perhaps I'm already saying more than I should. Just, if you choose to watch this, be warned.

This movie's wow factor is based all on the fact that it's real stuff. The movie itself, however, lacks a little polish. The SEALS' lines are kind of stilted, and the actors are almost interchangeable, making the climax a little confusing. I cared about the people involved. I just wasn't sure which actors they were on screen. An attempt is made to get audience sympathy for certain characters, but all the main characters are these muscled jocks who, under uniforms and helmets, are barely distinguishable from one another. In fact, someone seemed to realize this and tried to make the distinction more visible through the ornamentation on a helmet, but even that wasn't enough. I needed to see more character quirks, not soldier cut-outs. Besides the tear-jerker ending, this was my main problem with the movie. But I totally understand, at the same time, that since the actors are actual Navy SEALS, they have more than enough to do without learning all the nuances of acting.

Act of Valor is rated R. The worst part is when a woman is being tortured, and though it isn't too long, the people I was watching the movie with fast-forwarded through it, which had no effect on the understanding of the rest of the movie. There are also suicide bombers, an off-screen bombing of a group of children, and lots of quick scenes where people are getting shot through the head and blood is spurting out. Otherwise, there is no sex (just a few scantily clad women, briefly), and the language is not over-the-top.

I have a hard time recommending this movie, but I was impressed by the tactics. I think men will appreciate and understand this movie better than women (not necessarily in every case, but generally), but this movie also has the potential to make even men cry.

Three stars.


  1. Replies
    1. I'm pretty sure I saw a guy wipe away a tear after watching this.


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