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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!
'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.
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.
Don't let 'poor flat acting' reviews fool you - This is an EXCELLENT
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...
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.
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.
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.
*** This review may contain 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...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The plot is simple. A CIA agent gets kidnapped, and, the resulting
chase leads the rescue team all over the world.
What's different, you ask? The actors, or, rather, the lack of.
Lead roles are played by 8 nameless men. You see their faces, you hear their voices, their stories, but, you never learn their names. Why? They are active duty US Navy Spec Op operators. SEALs. SEa, Air, Land (team). Shooters. People, whose job is simple. Don't get killed, while going against rather prevalent odds. Return home by the grace of superior training, special tactics and weapons, and, very often, sheer determination.
So often, when people so doggedly focus on something, they reach excellence, all the while sacrifice skills in other areas. So, how good is the acting? Well, when you are that good, something's gotta give. And, this is no exception. SEALs don't make great actors. And, great acting makes the film. Amazing execution sells the documentary (Just watch Discovery Channel's "Navy SEAL Training/BUDs". But, what makes a good movie is good acting, coupled with great script, held together by great cinematography.
So, what of "Act Of Valor"? Cinematography is outstanding. No "too-close" a shot, where the action gets blurry, decent enough script, albeit simple, yet, no great acting.
WARNING! Here be spoilers!
The entire film is noting more than a deceased father's comrade's letter to the fallen's newborn son. He is one of the critical characters in the film, and, while the act of sacrifice lies in the title of the movie, the action makes up for so much that this movie lacks. Just making out the Spec-Ops speak will keep you entertained long enough to fill the gaps between the action.
So, is it worth seeing? Well, if you're a fan of Special Operations, like I am, then, by all means! If you like a decent action movie, then, prepare to hold on to your seat. But, if you're looking for artistic value, apart from truly great cinematography (you will be amazed by some of the POV shots), then, look elsewhere.
All in all, a solid action movie, with a very sound war theme in the age of political correctness.
Act of Valor is what it is - a salute to the US special forces, an
action burner that goes for realism in its approach (which works
greatly in its favor) Some will see it just an action flick, others
will see it as purely propaganda and recruiting - and it really isn't
either of those things, or maybe its both? - it does however work, and
it works pretty well.
The film is split into two parts - in both parts the SEALs (played by real SEALs) go on an operation - we get to see the insertion, action, extraction, the cost - I would have liked more planning and briefing - but I'll forgive it as there was also no obligatory bar scene. It is reminiscent of British and American war films - John Wayne would be proud - but it brings some modern sensibilities to the filming.
It's shot in a basic action format with some nods to documentary - though more would have been good - and the camera looks and feels quite similar to Arnie's action films - Predator and Commando - and it even borrows some tricks from thriller movies - over- shoulder, heavy breathing, etc; There's nothing new, but it is a good solid, easy to watch, approach.
It is not excessively violent - though the body count is high - it has one major thing going for it , which really surprised me, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen - even though the acting is fairly light, it all works as it feels authentic and looks right.
All in all, a surprisingly good watch.
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