Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Act of Valor (2012)

Directed by:  Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh
Starring:  Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Jason Cottle

In the opening introductory statement of Act of Valor, directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh make note  to the audience how they were embedded with an actual Navy SEALs unit while doing research for the film. Their experience with the SEALs influenced them in their decision not to have professional actors portraying the key roles in the film. In fact if you read the credits, there are none listed for the characters of the SEALs.  Their identities are kept confidential.  

Although the film is fictitious, it is "based on real acts of valor."  The film starts with a CIA operative (Roselyn Sanchez) who is kidnapped and the SEAL team is dispatched to rescue her from a jungle compound. The plot thickens when the SEALs discover that the kidnapping is tied into a wealthy drug smuggler named Christo (Alex Veadov.)  Christo teams up with a terrorist (Jason Cottle) to smuggle Jihadists into the United States through Drug Cartels in Mexico with the intent of "making 9/11 look like a walk in the park."

This film is pure non-stop action, with countless special effects.  What makes the film stand out from other military-action based films is the acting...or I should say lack there of on the part of the SEAL team. Since the parts were played by active-duty SEALs, it is obvious that they lacked any sort of acting training, but that doesn't really matter because they didn't have to do any kind of dramatic stretch to make their characters believable. The dialogue of the SEALs is deeply engrossed in military jargon that the layperson may not understand, but it's not necessary to in order to understand what is going on in the narrative of the film.  It should also be noted that the original intent of the film was to be used as a military recruitment/training film...and that's just how it plays out, even up to the ending scene of the full-dress military funeral.

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