Inspiring and exciting without ever becoming exhausting, Act of Valor is the type of film that makes viewers want to volunteer for not just one, but all branches of the military. Call it propaganda. Call it a recruitment video. But call it what you will. Above all, this is a stirring, patriotic depiction of men who carry out dangerous missions on behalf of their country.
I supposed that "wihout ever becoming exhausting" is subjective. I tend to mentally check out of movies with chaotic action scenes, whether they're fight sequences or car chases. This movie held my attention throughout, albeit with slightly diminishing returns along the way. (The first rescue effort is stellar, IMHO.)
I found out after seeing the film that it began as a recruitment video. Indeed, that's what I was thinking as I watched the film: "This is the best military recruitment movie I've ever seen."
I suppose that's a bad thing, but to the movie's credit, I didn't care. I found much of the movie thrilling, and I often wondered how they pulled off what they did. (And who are these filmmakers, anyway?)
Dialogue is lame, but no lamer than any big budget action extravangza. Plus, these code words and catch phrases of the military are what they are. I guess I didn't mind, considering that scripts for movies with 5 times the budget this one has are even worse.
As I told my friend who attended the screening with me, this is the best movie of its kind I've ever seen. What "kind" is that, you ask? I'm not sure. But I thought of Black Hawk Down, a movie I expected to like but which was way too much for this ol' boy. I had to close my eyes and stop looking at the jagged imagery after about 15 minutes. Then there are the Red Dawns and Navy SEALs, liked by many of my friends when we were younger, but which, bottom line, are just stupid.
Act of Valor isn't stupid. OK, maybe its plot stretches credulity, but the movie is mostly about watching the SEALs in action, and I thought it was compelling stuff.
Edited by Christian, 03 March 2012 - 11:01 AM.