Act of Valor (2012) Poster

(2012)

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6/10
Good action poor film
whistler11826 March 2012
Act of Valour set out to create a film with 100% authentic and realistic action sequences and promote the lives of US Navy Seals. In that aspect it succeeded, however, failed everywhere else.

The advertisement of using real navy seals as the main characters creates a level of military authenticity and accuracy that I have not seen in a film for a long time. All equipment and vehicles used are used correctly whilst dialogue and radio chatter inside of combat shows detail that inexperienced eyes might miss. However, acting is not something these Seals train for at basic! Dialogue outside of combat is weak at best and any scene trying to get some form of emotion out of the audience is lost as soon as one opens their mouth. Not many good things can be said about the story line. A rather unimaginative plot coupled with the stereotypical 'bad guy' does little but create a backdrop for the numerous fire fights and special forces insertions. Lastly, it should be noted that the film was shot in a noticeable High Definition that creates specular grandeur on wide pan shots.

Those looking for a well constructed war film should look else where. The predicable storyline and patriotic American stance will put most viewers off. However, if HD fire fights, good military realism can be taken with a pinch of salt this film does not disappoint.
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8/10
What can I say, Excellent - Finally!
qdixon-649-7179213 February 2012
If you are tired of Hollywood action movies that are poorly coordinated and where the directors just guess at everything, like I am, you are really going to like this movie.

Personally, I have actively served in the military and the thing that really bothers me is the non- realism of military roles that I see in movies. Directors and crew blatantly cut corners, hire no nothing actors and extras to portray military roles. Actual direction to the actors and extras that I have heard straight from their lips: "just to pretend because the audience doesn't know any better and doesn't care." Well WRONG, we do care...

There are of course directors that DO care for realism such as Ridley Scott & Oliver Stone. Directors that care hire people like Dale Dye or equivalent to produce such realism. It is a very hard thing to do when the "sides" or script simply say "insert tech talk" or "insert military maneuver" and your movie doesn't even have the technical adviser.

For someone who has been there and done that it is excruciating to see actors do everything wrong, shoulder rifles wrong and hear stupid and unrealistic dialog. Since my service ended I have been working in film and TV myself to somewhat try and make a difference in this manner.

This movie may not have Oscar winning acting, but it gave me a true chilling effect of realism. Some say they were not real active duty. Well I can't vouch for that but what I can tell you is that everything they did and said were extremely accurate and I have little problem in doubting that statement.

See/view the film as you want, some will see it as propaganda... Well, anyone showing pride in something is going to show everything at it's best and only the people who have never been there will confuse pride with propaganda. Freedom It is the right to be able to question and doubt everything, but it is the soldier that actually fights to provide this very freedom that everyone else takes advantage of. Sure others will see this film as a recruitment tool. Sure, and again when pride is shown in a cool way of course the young may choose a career in the military. The same being said with movies with doctors, firemen or policemen.

See this movie as a statement to reality in a technical way, pay attention to how things are spoken, how weapons are suppose to be used, held, fired and reloaded on the fly. When you use real military there is an automatic understanding of positioning. I understand that Hollywood need to be in there to actually film things and understand the need to make changes to do so but I could not find very much wrong with what I did see.

To mention live rounds... this is unheard of in film just because of the danger level and would never be accepted in civilian North America. That is why the movie was shot where it was and on live fire ranges. I am impressed.

I very much liked it and the portrayal of the soldier. I felt pride, technically things, were accurate and as they should be. Good Job!
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Gripping battle realism like a Tom Clancy wet dream
'Act of Valor' is an impressive movie about the cult of professional warriors in the age of global terrorism. Directors Mouse McCoy and Scott Waugh collaborated with the US Navy and actual Navy SEALs to give the film a sense of battle tactics and environment on par with 'Black Hawk Down' and 'Saving Private Ryan'. What little is lost in the SEALs' lack of acting chops is more than made up for by honest performances from the men who actually do this stuff for a living and the film's gripping battle realism. The movie sidesteps an overt political point of view, wisely focusing on the men and their mission rather than commenting on the times in which they serve. Watch for a great scene where Navy swift boats extract the SEALs from a Central American jungle with an astonishing display of live fire. Plenty of battle action to see here that you've never seen before. Highly recommended.
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5/10
Call of Duty: The Movie
If you've ever wanted to know what Call of Duty: The Movie would be like then look no further than Act of Valor, the action packed war film featuring active duty Navy Seals as some of the main characters. It's the story of a team of Seals who go on a covert mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA agent from terrorists. It's an extremely patriotic love letter to the armed forces, a film that shows undying respect for these brave men and women, romanticizing their valiant efforts overseas. It feels more like a recruitment video than a film, and I think it might have been better off as one instead.

Act of Valor is a film that wants to be intense, super cool, and also profound. However, it's profundities are incredibly shallow and all of the observations the film makes on war are nothing new, and provide no new insight into war. But as far as intense and super cool goes, Act of Valor accomplishes that more than anything else. It's one giant firefight after another, exemplifying the blaze of glory that the Seals fight within. It's a finely polished and explosively grand picture of modern warfare.

But if you're looking for any kind of story, characters, or halfway decent dialogue then Act of Valor is not what you want. I said before that the film stars actual Navy Seals, so it should be expected that the acting will be dreadful... and it is. But I can easily forgive this. However, what I can't forgive is the paper thin story that is devoid of all substance, as well as the pathetically dry dialogue. The script is beyond awful with incredibly cheesy and lifeless dialogue and a terribly empty story that most certainly, perhaps even deliberately, takes a back seat to the visual spectacle aspect of Act of Valor.

All in all the story is practically non-existent here and the only thing this film has going for it is it's patriotism and firefights. But even the fighting gets a little tedious with it's overuse of the shaky cam and first person video game style camera work that gets overused to the point where it's almost gimmicky. I won't deny that Act of Valor is pretty cool and it certainly makes one proud to be an American, but I cannot say that it's a good film. It's a definite dud and there is little point in seeing this film, especially if you value story, characters, and dialogue.
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10/10
Wow - Goes from a solid 8 star action flick - to a 10 star eyebrow-raiser. Strait-Up
brandelpresco24 February 2012
Don't let 'poor flat acting' reviews fool you - This is an EXCELLENT movie.

First of all whoever thought of "Let's train Seal's to be actors" vs "Let's train actors to play Seals" was a genius. Because they obviously did it the right way - putting them through a boat load of on screen training, and getting them to a place where they were very comfortable in front of the camera - cuz they are far from horrible.

True, no Russell Crowe or Denzel comparisons should be made, but the stars didn't ruin the film - they made it.

Heartwrenching. Bold. Un-Hollywood. Gritty. This movie takes you in to a world many idealize in a way that simultaneously shows you how cool it truly is, as well as how mind-bogglingly impossible it is for just anyone to do it.

The mental, emotional, and moral swings of chaos these guys have to stay professional in is crazy. Ultra realism, with a potent emotional message I did not expect to be so moved and effected by towards the end - that took it from a solid 8 star action flick - to a 10 star eyebrow-raiser!

There's something conveyed in the human soul that just resides in an actors presence. Unless they inhabit the role with their very cells (like Heath in the Dark Knight) something's off about it. These guys do that, instinctively, they are frekin Navy Seals for God's sake! No lies can be told when they're up there.

Solid, solid flick that's gonna stay with me for awhile - wow I get it, let's honor the troops...
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10/10
Best Action Scenes Ever
rlburd28 February 2012
The action scenes in this movie seemed so unbelievably real. I never left the edge of my seat, and I will watch it over and over again when it comes out in theaters. It is very impressive watching real SEAL's do what they do rather than some Hollywood hero popping cheesy smiles and corny lines. I imagine the critics will hit this movie based on the seals acting - but if so, they are missing the point. Movies are about connecting with people by bringing them into the action - that is exactly what Act of Valor does. It gives you an inside look at what a group of extraordinary men do for this country, without needing actors to accomplish it. Amazing.
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10/10
Great movie
jrothw01-296-64403119 February 2012
I had the chance to screen this movie months ago, though the movie was in the final stage and needed a few tweaks I couldn't have been more happy with how it turned out. I am a son of a true Navy Seal, the stories that I heard my father tell when growing up all seemed to be written from a script. There hasn't been a movie that has portrayed the life of a Seal and his family that accurately points out how hard things really are. I am very happy that I had the chance to view this film, it has enabled me to see some of the good and bad situations my father and his Seal friends could have and have been involved in; along the precession that is required of them. For those that have voted this down because of the acting, you knew going into it who the actors are, also this is not a movie about acting, it's a story about the lives of Navy Seals, it just so happens that they get to show you great action clips of what things are really like.
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5/10
If you're a hardcore soldier/war freak: watch it. Anyone else: DON'T!!!
tuomasp21 January 2013
I can now see why the reviews here are so mixed.

It's a uber-realistic but Hollywood-style portrayal of war, gore, blood and everything. The brutality of war is masked in the "awesomeness" of war machines, brothers in arms clichés, and heavy duty shooting action.

At times you're not sure if you indeed watching a US army recruitment video, as some have said here.

At times you feel like it's a B-class action flick.

At times you feel like it's an adrenalin filled CGI-effect demovideo, or maybe even like playing Call of Duty on your XBox.

As I am someone who likes movies a lot, especially action movies, who has been in the army, and who lives in Europe, it doesn't make much sense.
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2/10
A video game you can't play.
oheanue11 March 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I love America, but come on. This movie was two hours of propaganda with too many first person shots, too much product placement, and unbearable acting (I know they're real SEALS, but that's part of the movie so I have to take it into effect). I've seen reviews that say "as real as it gets" and "real life, not Hollywood" and they couldn't be farther from the truth. This movie is of the most unrealistic things I've seen in a long time. I've come prepared with examples: A SEAL is shot with a rocket launcher from 5 feet away and it sticks into his uniform (doesn't detonate) and all he does is stumble back a little. They say "good thing it was a dud". Realistically, he'd be killed or at least injured by the force of a 10 pound projectile at 600 mph. There's more, but I think that gets the picture across. If you want a war movie, there are plenty of good ones: Saving Private Ryan, Platoon,Hurt Locker, etc...
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9/10
Fast paced, plenty of action!
Ben Jacobs2 February 2012
Excellent movie. If you remember that these are not paid actors you will appreciate how well this movie was made. Really brings things into perspective of how the Seals operate. Fast action, lots of shooting and explosions, and the first person shooter game feel is quite interesting too. Warning, if you are seeing a movie about war, Navy Seals and shooting people, DON'T be surprised to see people being shot, blood and various other aspects of war violence (had to say that since someone that went with me was surprised). I will definitely be buying this as soon as it is available. But just like another reviewer said, go see it in the theaters, you won't be disappointed.
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