Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Review: Act of Valor

 Ever since the Super Bowl, there has been one commercial stuck in my head and it was the trailer for Act of Valor.  I couldn't wait for my chance to see this movie.  Before seeing Act of Valor, I did something I don’t normally do.  I read a couple of reviews.  I don’t usually read reviews before seeing a movie because it can make you go into a movie close minded.  In each of the reviews, I read the acting was poor and it was more of a recruitment video than a movie.  I’m no Hollywood critic, but I thought this movie was great and is definitely a one-of-a-kind war movie with never before seen action sequences.  Now if you were expecting these guys to come in from duty and act like Mel Gibson in Braveheart than yeah, you’re going to be disappointed, but this is the kind of movie that shouldn’t be judged on typical movie standards.  These are real life Navy SEALs. These are the men who killed Osama Bin Laden and took down Somali Pirates like it was a walk in the park, so being able to actually see these guys in action makes it well worth seeing.

The action was amazing as expected.  With the use of live gun-fire, first-person POV shooter camera angles and an interesting story line, the movie gives us a taste of their crazy and honorable lives.  One minute they’re at the beach having a nice bon-fire with their family and friends, the next minute they’re dropped into some of the most dangerous circumstances you can possibly imagine.  The SEALS are sent into the Philippines to save a woman who has been captured by a terrorist group. Her rescue directs the Seals to a source where they discover a terrorist plot beyond belief. The terrorist plot revolves around them sending a dozen people on suicide missions into major cities in the United States. They’ll be armed with undetectable bombs with massive destructive power.  The SEALS mission is to track down the leaders of the group and stop the people from entering the U.S.

The tactics the SEALS use is what makes this movie really standout from other war movies I’ve seen in the past.  Last year, when Navy SEAL Team 6 raided Osama Bin Laden’s compound and took out America’s most wanted, everyone wanted to know…how in the world did they do it?  This movie shows the genius tactics they use in real-life war situations and makes you really glad they’re on your side.  One false move and the whole team could be in trouble.  You kill a man and his body makes too much noise hitting the ground, the whole mission could be a failure.  It’s the little details they pay attention to in this movie that makes it truly incredible. 

I gave Act of Valor 4 out of 5 stars.  I got what I wanted out of seeing this movie and that was to get an authentic look at how the Navy SEALs operate, fight, and interrogate (there is a great Q&A scene with terrorist and real SEAL debriefer.)    If you’re into war movies this is a must see on the big screen.

Peter Azzarone @ Rothco 

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