Let's see what RAMA thought of ACT OF VALOR. Make sure to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
Military or war movies ain’t nothing new in Hollywood but most of the depictions were inaccurate, the relationship stories and the style were too romanticized, and the overblown entertainment was put front and center, in place of self-sacrifice. We admired films like Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan but finally, a movie that truly honors the troops, the finest action military war movie ever made has finally arrived in ACT OF VALOR.
Starring six active duty Navy SEALs, so from the get-go, ACT OF VALOR intends on taking you to the heart of how it’s all done, because you’re not dealing with actors trying to be soldiers. Directing team Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh with screenwriter Kurt Johnstad have crafted a film that satisfies action fans and oddly enough video game fans as well and it’s also a film that reminds audiences everywhere of what brotherhood, families, and duties mean to our heroes.
Never have I seen a film done in such manner, it’s action packed, the drama is real and not glorified, the mission at hand is dangerous, you can actually feel the threat, and you’ll be impressed by the remarkable weaponry that our troops has in order to fight terrorism. ACT OF VALOR is military action movie at its best…
Act of Valor takes audiences deep into the secretive world of the most elite, highly trained group of warriors in the modern world. When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plotagainst the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. As the valiant men of Bandito Platoon race to stop a coordinated attack that couldkill and wound thousands of American civilians, they must balance their commitment to country, team and their families back home.
Each time they accomplish their mission, a new piece of intelligence reveals another shocking twist to the deadly terror plot, which stretches from Chechnya to the Philippines and from Ukraine to Somalia. The widening operation sends the SEALs across the globe as they track the terrorist ring to the U.S.-Mexico border, where they engage in an epic firefight with an outcome that has potentially unimaginable consequences for the future of America.
I’m not sure if every print released in theaters would have the intro by the directing team but the screening that I attended, did. There’s about 5 minutes or so of intro of McCoy and Waugh explaining where the inspiration for this project came from, the decision behind casting active duty Navy SEALs and some of the filmmaking aspects as well.
I respect that special segment because to me, that goes to show the filmmakers’ determination to make sure that audiences know what it is that they’re going into and it’s not done in a way where the film would have to keep making stops or long unnecessary preachy speeches along the way just to explain itself, they do it all in the intro, straight to the point and then it goes to feature presentation and it’s heart-pumping, pulse-pounding moments from that point on.
To call ACT OF VALOR unprecedented is not overrated, because I seriously can’t remember a single previous movie that had attempted something like this, something this risky, bold, and daring.
I have to give mad props to the six real life Navy SEALs who are stars of this film, they may not have acting backgrounds and it’s more than obvious when you see their performance on screen, but you can tell that they did the best they could and it’s full of conviction, these are guys who really want their stories told so that people could get a better understanding of why they do what they do everyday.
I as an action fan, am very pleased with ACT OF VALOR’s high intensity, and I’m not talking just about the masterfully choreographed combat sequences and the advanced battlefield technology that will leave you in awe, but I also enjoy the film’s first person shooter point of view that keeps you on the edge of your seat, it’s better than any found footage method could ever hope to get, the way ACT OF VALOR handles it is more effective, more engaging, it doesn’t need to go IMAX or 3D just to get you in the jungle and feel like you’re part of the mission.
Of course, it goes without saying that when the bullets start flying, rounds after rounds, from a SEAL’s boat, the first thing that would come out of an action fan’s mouth would be, ‘wow, that’s awesome!’
On the hunt for global terrorists, the intelligence or any lead would take our heroes from one country to another, this requires them to leave their families more often than they’d like to. ACT OF VALOR doesn’t shy away from that and I think that is its biggest winning point. The film’s pacing is just right and there’s a segment where you’re introduced to the families, it’s brief but just enough to get you to know that these heroes are regular folks like you and I, with so much to live for and yet they still choose to put their selves on the line. ACT OF VALOR is accurate, it emphasizes the theme of self-sacrifice and relationship stories are brief but powerful, it puts you right at the heart of the action and the drama without wasting too much time on either. It’s just the right amount! Don’t go through 2012 without watching ACT OF VALOR, because it is that damn good, one of the most heroic films ever made.
GRADE: 5 out of 5
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