An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty Navy SEALs in a powerful story of contemporary global anti-terrorism. Inspired by true events, the film combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the minute battlefield technology and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure. 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 plot against 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 could kill 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 ...Written by
The film was mostly shot digitally on the Canon Eos 5d mk2; a decision made between the directors and D.O.P Shane Hurlbut to both save a vast amount of money on the budget and use the size and weight advantage of the 5d to capture the stunning action sequences. Hurlbut, who is an advocate of the HDSLR shooting system used a large number of the cameras, each fitted with a different lens system that stayed in place for most of the film. See more »
The male CIA Agent meeting up with Agent Morales in Costa Rica claims to have ridden his motorcycle from Colombia that day. There are no roads between Central and South American. The Pan-American Highway is broken up by a virtually impassable section called the Darien Gap. Vehicles have to be transported from one to the other. See more »
Before my father died, he said the worst thing about growing old was that other men stopped seeing you as dangerous. I've always remembered that, how being dangerous was sacred, a badge of honor. You live your life by a code, an ethos. Every man does. It's your shoreline. It's what guides you home. And trust me, you're always trying to get home.
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The patriotic tone of the film has been toned down for the international version. For example, in the original US version the letter says "Before my father died, he said the worst thing about growing old was that other men stopped seeing you as dangerous." In the international version it reads "Just before my father died, he said the worst thing about growing old was that it gets harder to protect the things that matter." Another example is the text at the ending. The US version shows the line "This film is dedicated to the following warriors of Naval Special Warfare who have made the ultimate sacrifice since 9/11." while the international version reads "This film is dedicated to all of the men and women who have sacrificed for their countries as guardians of freedom against forces of terror and tyranny." See more »
Written by Jesus A. Perez-Alvarez
Performed by Gregorio Moya
Courtesy of LMS Records See more »
As real as it gets
As a debut producer/director team, Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh's Act of Valor is somehow reminiscent, for lack of better comparison, of Ridley Scott's "Black Hawk Down". While that comparison works for the genre this movie is suited up for, the highlights here are some fantastic action choreography unlike your typical Hollywood flash-bang formula. The results of which are perhaps due to the Omnipotent force driving this story – the use of active-duty Navy SEALs, acting as active-duty Navy SEALs!
Inspired by true events, the premise is an action packed illustration of the cogs and wheels behind the fight for freedom; or in this case, anti-terrorism. After undercover CIA operatives go missing in Costa Rica, a rescue mission by Navy SEALs leads to the discovery that a Chechen defector turned Jihadi terrorist is plotting an attack on America with such magnitude, it could make 9/11 look like a walk in the park. Lead by SOC Dave and LCDR Rorke, a team of seven Navy Seals are re-deployed to prevent Abu Shabal (Jason Cottle) and his undetectable weapons of devastation from reaching highly populated American cities.
Before addressing the reasons behind why this movie was received with mixed reactions, let me first dwell on what makes this movie different, and in my opinion, worth a watch. First and foremost is the obvious casting of real life Navy SEALs. It's one thing to watch seasoned action movie stars blow stuff up because you expect them to. Whereas, it is totally different when watching seasoned soldiers do what they have trained so hard to do. This is all too obvious from the way these protagonists talk, to the way they handle a weapon, and by their inherent swagger makes the "A-Team" look like Teletubbies. That said, our heroes are in their element when geared up for the mission at hand, be it stealthy eliminations or running and gunning or jumping off a high altitude aircraft. But like fish out of water, you can't really expect immersive acting when they are void of camouflage, burst frequency radios, or anything related to battle mode. Dialogue sounds cheesy and read, especially during sub-plots that try to reveal they are also ordinary men with dependent families. Mainstream critics have expressed that the story is packed with propaganda, rather unkindly suggesting Uncle Sam's invincibility and far reach. While I did feel the SEALs seemed rather invincible towards the end of the movie, I also felt a strong vibe of patriotism instead of the misconstrued propaganda. Perhaps that has something to do with the screenplay coming from Kurt Johnstad, the same person behind the very patriotic ethos in "300". If I have to nitpick, it would have to be the overdone first-person perspective of having the camera mounted onto the laser sights of assault rifles. One or two scenes would have been acceptable, but this gets so repetitive, it appears to be borrowed from a Tom Clancy page-turner or a PlayStation 3 "Call of Duty" game.
If "G. I. Jane" (also Ridley Scott) is about the level of intensity and determination put into becoming a Navy SEAL, then this movie succeeds in showing the world why average paid, low profiled individuals risk their lives so that freedom remains a birth right in America. Just before the end credits, McCoy and Waugh also show us the price paid since 9/11 by SEALs who have given up the American way of life, so that the rest of America does not have to. Essentially, Patriotism, not propaganda, is a philosophy other countries should rekindle to keep terrorists out. With that message radiating from the Prologue and epilogue, including acceptable elaboration in between, first time directors McCoy and Waugh have brought out a decent action movie with relevance to the genre as well as the ongoing 'war on terror'.
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