There are movies that you walk out of thinking, “shit, that was badass”, and for the most part you’re right. I had that reaction when I saw The Bourne Ultimatum. I thought I had just seen one of more badass movies that had ever been made.
Then I saw Act of Valor.
And all those previous movies that I thought were badass I now know were not that badass.
Act of Valor stars active duty Navy Seals in a film that depicts an operation to prevent a terrorist attack against the United States. It all starts pretty innocently as an undercover CIA agent is abducted by a mexican group working for an Islamic drug-smuggler whom the CIA agent is trying to track.
After the group of Seals retrieve the package (yes, I’m trying to stay in Seal mode as long as I can), they uncover a greater threat than either their superiors or the CIA agent had believed going in. They discover the drug-smuggler’s ties to an Islamic Jihad terrorist who has acquired some fancy suicide bombing vests (that are pretty badass themselves).
All of it flows pretty nicely as I’m sure the missions do in real life which supposedly this movie depicts. It’s clearly not a documentary as every person in the movie other than the Navy Seals are paid actors. The story and events, however, are based on actual events according to the intro.
Now, obviously being Navy Seals has left very little time for acting lessons. Don’t attend this movie hoping for The King’s Speech-esque acting but if you’re looking for incredible action sequences and dare I say, acts of valor, do yourself a favor and see this film.
Sure, at times it seems like a glorified recruitment video but what’s wrong with that? If the thrilling battle scenes and incredible ways those Navy Seals do what they do (I can’t help but marvel at the river pick-up) don’t make you want to be a Navy Seal, I don’t know what would.
Grade: 3 stars