2010s

Published on June 27th, 2012 | by Chris

2

Act of Valor (2012, Blu Ray)


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

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.


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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Description

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:
Actors:
  • Roselyn Sanchez
  • Nestor Serrano

Features

  • ACTION/ADVENTURE
  • Run Time: 111
  • Release Date: 9/23/2014
  • R

Reviews

Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding movie! One of the greatest war movies since 1990., May 28, 2015
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This review is from: Act of Valor (Amazon Video)
Outstanding. This movie was really excellent, and I recommend it to everyone. I am an extremely tough grader, and I only give 5 stars to absolute classics. Like the title of my review says, this is still one of the best war movies since 1990, though, and definitely should get 4 to 4.5 stars.

For anyone that doesn't know, they used real Navy Seals for the cast of this movie. It lent a really nice realism to the whole thing. With most Navy Seal movies, the Seals are portrayed by Hollywood guys who might actually be the anti-war type, and you're sort of rolling your eyes at them. This takes care of that, even if none of these Seals are Sir Lawrence Olivier. The acting suffers somewhat and there is an ever so slightly cheesy, amateur feel to this movie, but I think you will agree that the move to use real Seals kicks this movie into high gear and makes it a real thrill ride. It also avoids the common stupid mistake of bogging down in talking and relationships. This movie rocks... Read more
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars little of them would look great on film, June 27, 2015
By 
Seadesire (Southern California, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Act of Valor [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
The main criticism I've heard is that the dialogue was labored and not well-acted. I would say that compared to what most movies try to bring to their character development, that is true. At the same time, these actual SEALs were functioning as they do as operators, not actors. If I think of how most of my conversations are with my friends, little of them would look great on film. However, the fact these guys actually do this stuff in real life (rather than it simply being a wildly-scripted action film) makes this movie a good pick for anyone with curiosity about Special Ops beyond Discovery Channel and Military Channel re-creations. In my humble opinion, it is almost more documentary than Hollywood movie...and worth seeing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed, honest & emotional portrayal of the US Military!, December 29, 2012
By 
sarmomemt (Cresskill, NJ United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Act of Valor (DVD)
I come from a huge military family, mostly Navy & Army (that makes the annual army navy game very interesting around here, lol) I served & my husband continues to serve. This movie would have been great even if it had not been made with a real Seal team, the fact that it WAS made with a real Navy SEAL Team makes it outstandingly realistic & honest. There are scenes where live rounds are used instead of blanks, where the seals took over & ran the operation as they would in real life. They played themselves so while many civillians criticize the acting, most military personnel know that teams guys in particular don't get Hollywood dramatic during a mission, they stay calm & press on. The time to fall apart is after the mission, not during it. I found this movie to be full of action, real raw honest emotion & the most honest representation of our brave warriors ever put on the big screen. Every person i know in the military who has seen this movie feels the same, the only critisim I hear... Read more
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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.

3.0


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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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