Act of Valor (Film) Review

Act of Valor

Released: 24th February 2012
Director: Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh
Starring: Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Nestor Serrano, Jason Cottle, Rorke
Rating: R
Running Time: 101

It's undeniably reverent of the real-life heroes in its cast, but Act of Valor lets them down with a cliched script, stilted acting, and a jingoistic attitude that ignores the complexities of war.

An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of active-duty U.S. Navy SEALs in a film like no other in Hollywood's history. A fictionalized account of real life Navy SEAL operations, Act of Valor features a gripping story that takes audiences on an adrenaline-fueled, edge-of-their-seat journey. When a mission to recover a kidnapped CIA operative unexpectedly results in the discovery of an imminent, terrifying global threat, an elite team of highly trained Navy SEALs must immediately embark on a heart-stopping secret operation, the outcome of which will determine the fate of us all. Act of Valor combines stunning combat sequences, up-to-the-minute battlefield technology, and heart-pumping emotion for the ultimate action adventure film-showcasing the skills, training and tenacity of the greatest action heroes of them all: real Navy SEALs. -- (C) Relativity

Peter Bradshaw (Guardian [UK]) said:
"In the 1980s, Top Gun reportedly sent young men rushing to join the military; this hilariously bad film is going to get them clamouring to join the Jon Stewart Appreciation Society."

Tim Robey (Daily Telegraph) said:
"The film is almost unashamedly a recruitment video for future Seals, but let's hope possession of a PlayStation 3 doesn't become the sole condition for enrolling."

Derek Adams (Time Out) said:
"'Act of Valor' reeks of military-sanctioned exploitation drama aimed solely at the 'Call of Duty' set."

Kim Newman (Empire Magazine) said:
"Another reason to avoid films endorsed by the US military, this is sub-propaganda tosh that inadvertently plays like Hot Shots: Part Trois."

Richard Corliss (TIME Magazine) said:
"Fighting is a learned skill; so is acting. And the SEAL stars are plausible only when on maneuvers - performing as their own stunt doubles."

Peter Travers (Rolling Stone) said:
"I don't know what to make of Act of Valor. It's like reviewing a recruiting poster."

Robert Koehler (Variety) said:
"A mechanically efficient yet soulless dramatization of the U.S. Navy SEALs in action."

Claudia Puig (USA Today) said:
"Employing Navy troops as stars is a clever idea for an action thriller. But the soldiers' awkward line readings are glaring enough to distract from the potency of the story."

Jeannette Catsoulis (New York Times) said:
"Unsurprisingly, the finished product plays like a pumped-up recruitment commercial deemed fit for feature length and multiplex viewing."

Michael Rechtshaffen (Hollywood Reporter) said:
"The merging of dramatic re-creations and on-camera "performances" proves less seamlessly executed than those masterfully coordinated land, sea and air missions."

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