Act of Valor
aims to capture the experience of Navy SEALs as they combat the schemes of a Chechnyan jihadist who wants to send suicide bombers into American stadiums and shopping malls. Their efforts take them all over the world, from Costa Rica to Somalia to the South Pacific. For added authenticity, eight real Navy SEALs have been cast in the lead roles. In terms of tactics and equipment, Act of Valor
is rigorously authentic. What marks this as fantasy is the perfection of the missions (there are no civilian casualties; every sniper takes out his target in a single head shot--there are a lot
of exploding heads in this movie) and absolute moral clarity (the wild-eyed jihadist and drug cartel foot soldiers are unquestionably evil; one of the main characters carries his grandfather's folded flag from World War II). The performances of the SEALs, though well intentioned, make you appreciate the complexities of Arnold Schwarzenegger. What's smart about Act of Valor
is that it doesn't waste much time with setups or dialogue, but heads straight into the missions. However, much of these missions are filmed like a first-person-shooter video game, which lends a sense of immediacy but undercuts the sense of reality. Still, all in all, Act of Valor
is a sincere attempt to express admiration for the men and women risking their lives in the military. --Bret Fetzer
Go "down range" with real, active-duty Navy SEALs in Act Of Valor, the adrenaline-fueled action-adventure that inserts you into the heart of the battle, alongside America's best and bravest. When a covert mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative uncovers a chilling plot, elite, highly-trained U.S. SEAL teams speed to hotspots around the globe, racing against the clock to stop a deadly terrorist attack. Pulse-pounding combat sequences, cutting-edge battlefield technology and raw emotion fuel this unprecedented blend of real-world heroism and original filmmaking -- a thrilling tribute to the skills, courage and tenacity of the world's most revered warriors.