Published on June 27th, 2012 | by Chris


Act of Valor (2012, Blu Ray)

Reviewed by:
On June 27, 2012
Last modified:October 3, 2012


Have to go with a generous 3/5, just because some of the action sequences were sort of fun, even if they did have that "vidya" feel to them.

Act of Valor (2012)I wanted to go into "Act of Valor" with an open mind.  And I did.  I gave it a shot.  Problem is, it just didn't quite "do it" for me.  I don't know if it was the lackluster acting, the so-so writing, the mechanical plot or the even more predictable and wooden action sequences....  I just didn't really take all that much away from it.  Was it terrible? No, not by any means.

I blame the acting solely on the higher-ups who felt it would be a good idea to use a crop of active-duty Navy Seals as actors.  I can't blame these guys for trying their best, and they don't do a bad job of it, really.  I'm also left to wonder if they had any input into the writing or technical advising.  I have to believe that if they did, it wasn't much.

The biggest problem by far, though, is that this whole movie plays out like a video game.  From cutscene to shooter level to cutscene and back again, right down to a few overly obvious FPS "down the barrel" camera shots.  I don't know if this was on purpose or not.  Let's not even mention that the whole thing is pleasantly contrived, and the "Where in the world are we now?" aspect can get a bit confusing if you happen to step out to top off your drink like I did.  ("Wait. WTF just happened? What country is this now?")

I've given high marks for good intentions in the past, but usually where resources were limited and spirit was not.  The reverse seems to be the case here.  So much potential seems to have been dropped on the floor.  A little more intrigue, a few recognizable (and capable) faces, a little more effects, and you've got a solid action movie.  Instead you get a first-person-shooter video game where you're basically along for the ride.  And that 'skip to next level' cheat code isn't working.

Spoilers?  Well, the "act of valor" is pretty predictable, and actually makes for one of the more powerful moments of the film.  But ultimately you'll be left sitting there going, "hm.  I could have done something else."  At least I did.  Have to go with a generous 6/10, just because some of the action sequences were sort of fun, even if they did have that vidya feel to them.

As for the Blu Ray presentation, I went with the barebones movie-only version, and got exactly that.  Crystal clear picture and sound.  Nothing to sneeze at there, even if I didn't get to see it on my own kit yet, so I can't make an accurate comparison to anything else.

Act of Valor [Blu-ray] Act of Valor [Blu-ray]
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Go "down range" with real, active-duty Navy SEALs in Act Of Valor, the adrenaline-fueled action-adventure that inserts you into the heart of the battle, alongside America's best and bravest. When a covert mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative uncovers a chilling plot, elite, highly-trained U...

DVD Information

Binding: Blu-ray
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Audience Rating: R (Restricted)
Brand: 20TH Century Fox
Manufacturer: Relativity Media
Original Release Date:
  • Roselyn Sanchez
  • Nestor Serrano


  • Factory sealed DVD


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Act of Valor (2012, Blu Ray) Chris

Summary: Have to go with a generous 3/5, just because some of the action sequences were sort of fun, even if they did have that "vidya" feel to them.


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About the Author

I've been watching war movies for probably 25 years now. Since December 2006 I've been sharing my habit and passion for these movies here on this site.

2 Responses to Act of Valor (2012, Blu Ray)

  1. the war movie buff says:

    Too harsh. Having been consistently disappointed by the recent crop of war movies (Red Tails, War Horse, Battleship) I was pleasantly surprised by a movie I had every reason to believe would suck. I admit the acting was weak but the producers obviously made a decision that using real SEALS would be a marketing ploy and who can fault them considering the movie most likely made more money because of it. The non-actors actually did not embarrass themselves. I thought the action was robust although you correctly pointed out the similarities to video games, but other movies have attempted this and come up much shorter.

  2. Chris says:

    Hm, funny because I actually liked Red Tails and War Horse (but still have not, and do not plan to see Battleship!)…. 😀

    I do agree with you on the actors, they did the best they could, but for me it just wasn’t enough to save it.

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