‘Act of Valor’ Movie Review – Action, Action and More Action
Act of Valor, directed by Mike “Mouse” McCoy and Scott Waugh is an action packed movie that mixes reality and fiction in a novel way by using an elite team of highly trained Navy SEALs instead of actors pretending to be Navy SEALS. We follow that team as they hop all over the world in an attempt to prevent an imminent attack on America. So what is the verdict? Is Act of Valor worth watching? In order to answer the question, let us break it down in three parts: Story, Acting and Action.
The story is not wholly original but at the same time, not boring. If you have ever played Call of Duty, then the story is similar to the kind of missions you experience during a campaign. So we start out with an objective, the parameters of the mission and then go. The whole movie just feels like a series of such missions. If you are a COD fan like myself, you might enjoy it at first but I have to admit that it can get slightly tiresome. At times, it does feel like you are watching a commercial for the US Navy but what else can you expect from a movie that had such an unprecedented access?
So was using real Navy SEALs a good idea from a performance perspective? Yes and No.
Yes, because the action scenes have a look and feel that is far more realistic than any combat movie I have ever watched. Knowing that these guys are the real deal adds a layer of authenticity that is not easy to duplicate.
No, because the non action scenes suffer quite a bit. Let’s be clear, this was NOT the worst acting I have ever seen but the dialogue certainly felt stilted at times. However, it is easy to get over that since we know from the get go that we are not dealing with professional actors.
Only one word can accurately describe the action scenes: Wow!
Real life Navy Seals + Badass Missions + Use of authentic Navy gear (They actually used a real US Submarine) = Great Action Scenes. Every mission was beautifully shot and added the right amount of tension that will keep you on the edge of your seat. My favorite scene was when the gun boats arrive and open a hail of fire; quite a holy S@#t moment.
In conclusion, the answer to our initial question is a conditional Yes. Act of Valor is worth the watch but with the right expectations. If you just want a straight up action movie with clear cut good guys and bad guys and realistic action scenes, then Act of Valor is for you.
The movie is in theaters as of today Friday February 24 2012. You can watch the trailer of Act of Valor below.