24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Action movie without actors,
This review is from: Act of Valor (DVD)
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