What a strange movie this is. Act of Valor can be split into two parts that are all mixed up. There’s the gut-wrenching, intense and uncompromising action and shootouts with real soldiers, based on real events that actually happened to some of the crew. This part deserves a perfect ten, and then there’s the emotional part that deserves a three or four, but based purely on the sympathy for the “actors” since they’re trained for combat and not emotional scenes with their wives.
You kinda feel sorry for them while they’re trying to express emotions because they have tried all their adult life to keep them deep down and to remain calm. As I said, there are a couple of relatively known actors in Act of Valor, but the platoon is comprised of active or retired Navy SEALs, complete with hidden identity and whatnot (they used aliases during the shooting and they were credited by them).
A Chechen terrorist named Abu Shabal kills a U.S. ambassador, his son and a lot of children in the Philippines by using an ice cream truck filled with explosives (yikes!) and manages to get away. At the same time in Costa Rica, a CIA operative has been captured by cartels, and she is on her way to a remote outpost for a torture session. Lisa Morales was on a brink of making the connection between Abu Shabal and Christo a local drug lord who also dabbles in weapons smuggling. A special team is called and assembled for a rescue operation. Comprised of the best soldiers, they are ready, willing, and able, and they should be since the rescue operation is just the tip of the iceberg.
Did I mention the action sequences before? Oh, I did, twice, well here’s the third time: fucking shootouts! If you like FPS games like Call Of Duty or Battlefield you will love Act of Valor, it even has that first-person camera during the shootouts. You can feel the expertise and the skill that these guys have, and exactly this level of realism will stop you from turning off the movie during the “dramatic” and “emotional” scenes. The cinematography was beautiful, something that wasn’t too hard with beautiful locations like Cambodia, Philippines, and Puerto Rico.
There are also two big issues that I would like to discuss, one of them being that this is the promotional video for the American Army, and fuck if I care. I’m not going to join it, but I enjoyed watching this movie. Secondly, there’s the bigger picture or the political background for this. ‘Murica invades countries with resources=>most of those countries are muslim countries=>muslims retaliate. You can watch this movie like that, but it wouldn’t be fair to the people that gave their lives serving in the army. Exactly because of them, you need to see just how wrong the whole concept of war is and that it brings nothing good. The people you need to hate are the politicians and this is not a movie about them…
However, it’s very important to say that wars are horrible and that you should not join any army. You will just be used as cannon fodder, return with PTSD and other problems, unable to integrate back into society. Finally, to circle back to the issue at hand, Act of Valor is no Black Hawk Down or Lone Survivor, but it will do. Enjoy.
Director: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh
Writer: Kurt Johnstad
Cast: Roselyn Sanchez, Van D., Emilio Rivera, Rorke Denver, Dave, Sonny, Weimy, Ray, Ajay, Mikey
Fun Facts: The scene where the rocket did not explode is not a miracle or because he was lucky. Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and many shoulder fired Rocket Launchers ammunition is made to explode after certain amount of spins. This is a safety design in case it bounces close to the person shooting it. So in that scene, the Grenade/Rocket did not made the necessary spins to activate the detonating mechanism which is a pressure switch in the point.