461 of 498 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2012
I know some people will think this movie shouldn't have gotten 5 stars because of the acting. I did not go to this movie for the acting, I went to see our real life Navy Seals pay tribute to those who sacrificed everything for our country, and I was not disappointed.
I have read several books by Seals and about Seals over the years, starting way back when Dick Marcinko's first book came out, and I always watch any movie or tv special about them. I feel it takes a special kind of person to do this job and it fascinates me.
This movie has a fictional plot; however, the extractions and sacrifices in the movie all have actually happened in the field and they are re enacted in this movie in different locations. How awesome was it to sit their and watch the things I had imagined in my head in real life. I say real life, because these are things they actually do, real technology actually used, real split second decisions actually made. The action was fantastic and I will go see this movie again on the big screen to make sure I caught everything.
What was most profound to me was the way the team worked together and their commitment to each other. The fact that they can see something horrific happen to their best friend, and keep doing their job, put their emotion aside until their mission is done. I have read in countless books about men that keeping going while wounded not for themselves or to get back home, but so they don't let down the person next to them, the person they go into battle with. This movie shows that. It shows these men to be multi faceted. They are not war mongers. They are men with families and a deep sense of history and honor. This is what I feel should be taken away from the movie.
So if you are not sure what you are getting into with this movie, they were not shy about head shots and brain splatter, they did not focus on it, it was all done in a very matter of fact way, but it is there. There is a torture scene that made me squirm, not graphically shown, but you knew what was happening. Overall though if you have let your child play Grand Theft Auto or 1st person shooter games, this is not any more violent.
This movie is not a propaganda or recruiting film it is real life. Remember that when watching, don't look for something to be there for a political reason, as an american look at this film and be proud, appreciative and thankful that we have men like this willing to give everything so that we can be safe. I for one am, and I was really glad they listed the Seals that sacrificed everything for us at the end. This movie broke my heart while instilling a huge sense of pride for our servicemen and first responders. I hope everyone goes to see this movie on the big screen it is worth it. I don't know but I hope the producers/studio whomever is in charge makes a substantial donation to the Navy Seal Foundation as the men in this movie were not, nor did they want to be compensated.
Anyway I will be purchasing this movie as soon as it is available and encourage you to do the same, it is important to know what someone will sacrifice for you.
153 of 165 people found the following review helpful
This one really grabbed me. It reminded me of the same emotions I had watching Taking Chance(also recommended). This movie was harder to watch the second time, but man, do I love this film. I am a retired Chief who served on submarines. Everything I saw that related to my career was absolutely accurate. I imagine the rest of the film was just as credible. I sure admire these military folks!
217 of 242 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2012
You might notice the date for this post is two weeks before launch. that is because I am part of the military and was invited to an advance showing of this movie.
Non-spoiler summary: Act Of valor is based around SEAL Team 7 sometime around September 2010. This is a fictionalized film, these events really did not happen but they are based on events that have happened to SEALS since the war on terrorism. In 2007 the two directors of this film, Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, worked on a film project where the navy allowed them to work with real Navy SEALS. The directors came out with an idea to make a realistic movie based on the Navy SEALS. While deciding on casting they decided that the only people they wanted playing the Seals were the Seals they met themselves. Act of Valor uses real Navy SEALS and at times real ammunition in some of the fire fight scenes.
If you have not seen this film I definitely recommend to at least rent it. It is not a documentary but it is the most realistic military movie that I have seen. Definitely worth a viewing.
A CIA operative is captured by a drug smuggler. SEAL Team 7 is sent in to save her. SEAL Team 7 discovers the Drug smuggler is connected to a high level terrorist that seeks vengeance on America. The SEALS are in a race against time to uncover the plot and stop the terrorist before they reach their target in America.
83 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Navy SEALs are America's warriors du jour. Remember that spectacular demonstration of marksmanship when three of them, standing on a tossing boat, felled three hostage-holding Somali pirates with simultaneous shots? That was followed a year or so later by the end of Osama bin Laden, so these elite fighters are the ones we look to for military prowess.
I can only hope this film's regular release contains the introduction by the two principals behind this project. They were embedded with a platoon of Navy SEALs in hopes they would get enough material for a movie. It quickly became obvious to them that there are NO Hollywood actors who could approach the calibre of the men they were with, in terms of fitness, devotion to their families, intelligence, and skill levels. Consequently, they cast a group of active duty SEALs! (Shooting was occasionally delayed while cast members were briefly deployed.) When we know those guys up there on the screen have actually done the things we see, it adds immeasurably to our involvement; plus, many of the scenes were shot using live ammo!
The upshot is, even though the Bandido Platoon is a fictitious one, this story is based on feats of the most elite, highly trained group of effective warriors in the modern world, using up-to-the-minute technology under highly challenging circumstances. Because of artistic license, we see the same seven men off the coast of Somalia, in the Ukraine, in the tropical forests of Costa Rica and just south of the Mexican border. They are trying to stop a chilling plot that uses ceramic pellets in suicide vests. Ceramic doesn't set off metal detectors, so terrorists plan a coordinated attack in crowded areas: football games, shopping malls, concert arenas and airports. When explosives kill and maim hundreds, the economic impact will be devastating (like 9/11).
This film starts with the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative, which leads to the terrorists, who are linked to drug cartels in Mexico (they know how to penetrate America's borders). The domino effect of international terrorism and drug trade is compelling stuff. How can the American drug consumer ignore the down-range impact of his or her folly! Expect lots of gunfire, SCUBA diving, some really satisfying blowie uppie stuff, and stealth warfare (when these seven guys silently break the surface of that stream... goosebumps!).
I found this far more involving than your average run-of-the-mill action film. It's clear that these guys are SEALs, not actors, but there wasn't a moment when anyone's attention strayed; we were rooting for them to complete their mission so they could all return home to their families. As the tag line says: The only easy day was yesterday.
I will request notification when this DVD is available on Amazon.com.
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2012
Saw it in a theater, and had heard all the news stories about bad line delivery and bad acting, and on and on.
Having worked with professional men like this in the past, from various branches, all I saw was real men talking like men talk. I didn't see stuttering or off character delivery of lines, etc. So, I have no idea what bet wetters were so concerned about the dialogue. I think some people in Hollywood, or somewhere, must have been concerned about the idea that actors weren't necessary, and in fact, would have made it not so great a picture. (IMHO) It was good to see the real deal, and see them get some credit for what they do, while we sleep peacefully in our beds at night.
As for other critics who said it was a video game, well, you just have no clue. Where do you think FPS video games get their ideas from, watching reruns of Gilligan's Island? They get it from someone, somewhere who had it going on. So, pardon me if it looked like a video game to you, but it looked like what SEALs do, and in some cases, what other elite forces do. If its a video game to you, so be it.
I was proud to see the real men doing the job, even though the plot was fictional, it was cool to know these men really do stuff like this, so it was a good movie all around. I'd like to see more like this!
The ending, I thought the transition from the end into the credits was a good move back to reality, painful, but good.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2012
Just saw Act of Valor on 03/04/12 and it was superb. I actually preferred the real navy men in their parts, rather than an "actor" such as Bruce Willis, Alec Baldwin or cocky Tom Cruise. I didn't care if the navy men could not act... it was more real to me than any Hollywood actor could try to portrayal.
We absolutely need more movies LIKE this and we absolutely need REAL men like the real men in the movie in our lives.
The United States of America would not be a safe place period, if we did not have such brave men and woman of all military service and our local men and women fighting on our own streets.
My thoughts, prayers and gratefulness to all the men and women that serve and to their families that await for their safe return... so that my freedom will not be taken, so that I can sleep well and safe every night, so that I enjoy the smallest of things that I take for granted (such as walking out my door alive or enjoying a meal with a friend in a restaurant without being bombed).
Shame on any of us in the United States of America who does not see how great, good and necessary this movie is for Americans... to always be reminded. Great job navy men and great job director.
36 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2012
I saw the previews for this movie in a commercial on the Super Bowl. Real active duty SEALS in a movie??!! No way. Checked out the website - well, I'll be darned - yes way. How 'bout that? Not only that, no CGI and LIVE fire (yeah, real bullets)?! Okay, this just gets better and better. Gotta check it out. Well, I did and it's a good thing the theater had the option of reserved seating because when I went on Saturday afternoon the matinee was sold out as were the evening showings.
I don't even know where to start. This movie, in all honesty, is one of the best I have ever seen. I'm writing this two days after seeing the movie and there were scenes I will never, ever forget.
POSSIBLE SPOILER: The extract will absolutely keep you on the edge of your seat. The actual Act will gut you. You have been warned.
Hurt Locker was a very, very good movie, but that was actors and Hollywood.
Act of Valor goes way, way beyond that because the military cast is the real thing and they made sure the movie was filmed just that way.
Hoo-Yah, guys! Ya did good. Movies really don't get better than this one.
24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
When the directors worked with the US Navy on a separate project, they dreamed up the idea for an accurate movie about the Naval Special Warfare (NSW) community, they realized that there just weren't actors that could fill the roles. So they collaborated with the Navy and real NSW personnel to make this movie.
A SEAL platoon goes hunting, trying to unravel a skein of drug dealers, arms smugglers, jihadis, a plot to commit atrocities within the borders of the US. They deploy around the globe in order to stop a massive terrorist act within the US, and at the same time allow a glimpse into the personal lives of these men and their families, and the other service members that support them.
As much as a SEAL recruiting film, it seemed like the NSW small boat guys were pitching their career opportunities too, and a cinematic exposition of the tools of NSW. High altitude, low opening (HALO) parachuting, submarines modified to support SEALs, UAVs, and other equipment was prominently displayed, but it was clear that the equipment was only there to aid the men in their mission, and that no technology would replace their training. Still, gadget junkies will get a fix with real rather than made-up hardware. The boat crews, especially, seemed like they enjoyed their work greatly.
The most intriguing character, and the most proficient actor of the Navy personnel was Senior Chief, the intelligence analyst/interrogator. Of all the sailors in the film, he was the one that could be mistaken for a professional actor, but during his interrogation scene, one can understand why his specialty would give him the skills that transfer to performance. This also made for an interesting subtext; the brutal torture by bad guys failed to get the subject to talk but the professional interrogation by the Navy interrogator broke the subject without the interrogator laying a finger on him.
All in all, an excellent action flick. The quality of acting generally wasn't stellar, but given the tax dollars spent training these men for their disciplines, that can be excused. These were special warfare operators in a film, not actors pretending to be something they're not.
E. M. Van Court
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2012
This movie left me completely impressed, proud, humbled at the skill and heart of these warriors. Just awesome capabilities in each man, and incredible equipment their given to carry out their missions with. My lone "complaint": I wish the names of SEALS scrolling in the credits was slower. Besides "See this now" my other admonition is "Stand and honor them" when you see the list.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2012
I read a couple reviews complaining about the plot and some other things. I'd have to disagree on all of them. One guy said he fell asleep, which I can't fathom because the explosions and gunfire ought to keep just about anybody awake even if they're not happy with the movie itself. It's not really a slow-developing plot the way some people have said. I just think those people were expecting explosions everywhere and tons of gunfights when the point of the movie isn't really the fighting but the life of Navy SEALs.
As for the Chechen angle, I'm not sure why that part was chosen but I can say with confidence that the movie isn't promoting Russian propaganda. More likely, it was one of those relatively safe things they could do. Al-Qaeda or North Koreans would probably be more realistic (although I can't really say nobody in Chechnya would ever try to attack us, terrorism is relatively cheap and we haven't exactly helped them much), but do we really need to piss the Middle East and North Korea off more? Muslim terrorists are already gunning for us and we can't really dismiss the possibility of having to fight North Korea. Putting out a movie where we clean their clocks would seem kind of obnoxious regardless of how realistic it would be. For those of you who said the Chechen angle isn't realistic, do you consider the Aliens movies, Star Wars, and all the Predator movies to be realistic? Presumably not, but that doesn't mean they're not good (well, some of them weren't good but several of them were excellent). Even with real SEALs, it's still a movie so not everything has to be plausible. The main elements that were supposed to be real, the people, the mechanics, the weapons, etc. were all as real as I've ever seen in a movie.
I saw one review that said This Means War is more worthwhile and is a better movie, which is total crap. They're both very different movies so I can't really say that This Means War is worthless. It is, however, the same kind of Hollywood production that's been around for years. The plot is a little different but all the core elements have been done over and over. Act of Valor is far more appealing to me specifically because it's not the type of thing that Hollywood does.
I don't know how successful I've been at convincing anybody that Act of Valor is a good movie with the bad reviews out there. It's important to know what you're getting though. The description says what it's about and the intent of everybody involved going in has been discussed in public a lot. It's the kind of movie that's meant to have realistic operations and depict what a Navy SEAL's life is like abroad and at home with their families. If you're simply looking for action, this might not be a good choice for you. There are several reasons that you may not like this movie, but if you're interested in the military I think you should buy Act of Valor.