Act of Valor; my review

| February 25, 2012

So, I went to the movies today, along with the other senior citizens who go to the Saturday matinee because it’s cheaper. I never go to the movies – the last time I went was to see “Thor”, but the media has been calling me for my opinion because of the post I wrote a few weeks ago, so I figured I’d better go see it.

Yesterday, I read some reviews that warned me that the movie was anti-semitic. I didn’t get that feeling, sorry, and I’m as pro-Israel as a non-semitic person can be, I suppose. Although the story did try to stay away from Semitic Muslim terrorists, the terrorists were motivated by Islam, even though they were generally Filipino or Chechnyan Muslims. And the Mexican drug cartels that were helping the terrorists sneak into the country, which I think is an eventuality that our government isn’t taking seriously enough. The only Semitic terrorist was a rich Jewish playboy-type. So you have to deal with that while you watch the movie.

The movie was very good, but not as good as “Black Hawk Down” or “We Were Soldiers”. The live fire scene was everything it promised to be, but it was much too short. But I do love it when the cavalry shows up at just the right time and turns around the battle in favor of the good guys. And miniguns tear up the bad guys.

Roselyn Sanchez had top billing, but speaking as a connoisseur of little brown women, her part in the movie was way too brief for her position on the marquis. She still looks mighty fine even when her face is all bruised and swollen up.

Thinking back to my concerns about the movie telling our enemies how to counter SEALs or other forces, I don’t think they gave away too much information in the movie. Nothing that anyone who ever read a Tom Clancy or Brad Thor novel wouldn’t already know.

The hardest part for me about the movie was having to sit still. I wanted to jump out of my seat and run through the hallways and tunnels right alongside the SEALs, but that’s my problem, not the movie’s fault. I’m sure the folks sitting around me were made a little anxious by my flailing antics.

Over all it was a very good movie, and I’m sure it’s destined to be a classic, like the other movies I mentioned. It’s also destined to inspire some stolen valor criminals. But you should see it while it’s in theaters and not wait for the DVD or Netflix, if for no other reason, the big screen does make the live fire sequence better than it might be otherwise.

Category: War Stories

Comments (24)

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  1. OldSoldier54 says:

    Saw it yesterday. Awesome.

  2. Badger says:

    Thanks for the review. I may go see it tomorrow.

  3. Just Plain Jason says:

    I need to talk my wife into seeing it!

  4. Tman says:

    I too thought the movie excellent.

    I wouldn’t know war or combat or Special Ops tactics from a hole in the ground, but for an average citizen like myself it all seemed so very real and intense. It did help tremendously that they advertised it as having actual active duty SEALs playing the roles, and not even minor roles, two of the major roles of the Lieutenant and Chief were real active duty. Some of the other roles were also active duty SEALs which I thought was neat (including the Latino and Black American SEALs).

    L.A Times critic thought the performances were not dramatic enough for his liking but I thought the SEALs gave great performances fitting with their roles. You could tell it was from the heart and experience.

    My favorite character in the movie was Senior Chief (Senior). The guy was the very definition of bad arse, great speeches and dialogue, I think he is a real deal SEAL himself.

    Overall a great movie though some obvious cliches (grenade anyone)>

  5. Susan says:

    JPJ – just tell her that the movie includes Navy SEALS and some will surely have their shirts off. That should work.

  6. swamper says:

    That one wasn’t a cliche, Tman. It was a nod to Michael Monsoor.

  7. fm2176 says:

    I may head into Hinesville to see it. It’s been a whole lotta fun getting situated here these past few weeks. I had the fortune of getting main post passes while in Infantry OSUT back in the day, so a buddy and me saw both We Were Soldiers and Blackhawk Down on Benning. I bought the latter on DVD years ago but just bought the former a few months ago. Great movies. Navy or not, if Act of Valor is even remotely close to matching the action and vaguely realistic combat of those movies, it’s worth a look-see.

    This coming from the guy who just bought Delta Farce…

  8. Flagwaver says:

    Well, I would first like to say that some of those guys made the dog-faced boy look like playmate of the year and they couldn’t act their way out of a wet paper bag. However, that’s not what the Teams taught them. The fact that they did their own stunts, the “faceless bad guys” were also SEALS, and the rifles were firing useless load rounds, was the reason to see the movie.

    My favorite scene would have to be when the crazy SOBs drove full speed into the river and then the mini-gun opened up right over their heads. Nothing says America, Fuck Yeah like a Ford disintegrating under the concerted effort of a pair of zipper guns.

    You know that they at least portrayed their wives accurately. Only a high-speed mother could look that ugly and get a wife that hot (SEAL wives, Ranger Wives, etc.).

    Senior Chief was definitely my favorite character, but I don’t quite think he was what he claimed to be. They never gave his name, and the fake beard and nose prosthetic they always had him in were the worst FX I have ever seen.

    My only complaint with the movie was the funeral scene. It kicked my PTSD into overdrive; 3 hours sleep since seeing it yesterday. Otherwise, it was amazing.

    As for the anti-Semitic claim… Really? The fact that it is anti-Semitic because it says the Muslims want to kill the Jews? Well, then someone should call Iranian, Palestinian, Egyptian, Syrian, Chechen, Filipino, American, and all other Muslims in the world anti-Semitic because they all say the same damn thing.

    Even with the funeral scene, it is still a movie that I would definitely recommend to everyone. Action, combat, foxhole humor, and lots of gun porn.

    Not to mention Sanchez is one hot little number..

  9. Lucky says:

    Saw it at Tysons yesterday, solid movie. Don’t really understand where the claim of anti-semitism is coming from…. anti badguy maybe, I mean, they do seem to wind up assuming room temperature around that SEAL Platoon; and I like their Senior Chief, he is one amazing interrogator!

  10. Gina says:

    Saw it today and loved it. Incredible display of the capability and dedication of these men. But aside from the action…which was spectacular because it’s real…what really struck home for me was the love these warriors have for their families and each other. That’s something Hollywood can’t duplicate. Kudos to the producers for having the real SEALS tell their story in their own way. It wasn’t a movie so much as a back seat on one helluva ride.

  11. Cedo Alteram says:

    Mentioned again in the TIMES, good for you Jonn.

    “I never go to the movies – the last time I went was to see “Thor”…” we’re in the same boat, neither do I. I haven’t seen “Captain America” yet either.

    “The movie was very good, but not as good as “Black Hawk Down” or “We Were Soldiers”. The live fire scene was everything it promised to be, but it was much too short.”

    Okay, maybe I’ll see. Might be my own bias but I’m usually avoid anything having to do with the Navy. The storyline I also heard was kinda of convoluted. At least they didn’t turn the bad guys into generic, nonoffence, Nazi/KKK/American/English types.

  12. streetsweeper says:

    Senior NCO’s (and CWO’s) are the go-to guys, are they not? How’s it feel to be the go-to guy now, Jonn? Good job my friend!

  13. mark says:

    Excellent movie. I am happy to say it is playing all over the Metro Milwaukee area.

  14. Steadfast&Loyal says:

    Great movie.

    Agree with Jonn more secrets are found in Clancy, Thor, and Dalton Fury’s new book BLACK SITE.

  15. Curt says:

    Saw it with my wife- she wishes she had brought earplugs, I wish I had been an Operator instead of a 63B wheel mechanic! Great flick!

  16. Kristina says:

    I loved it too. As someone who has had the honor of knowing a fallen SEAL the sacrifices made by the families left behind really hit home for me. I think it was very well done.

  17. BooRadley says:

    Almost as good as BHD and WWS? I may have to see it in a theater. My son went to see it with a group of USMC poolees and he was impressed.

  18. thebronze says:

    I think it was just as good as BHD or WWSO, just in a different way.

    Excellent movie, don’t miss it on the big screen!

  19. movie addict says:

    i tried to follow the actions but the use of shaky cam made it difficult. i vomited several times so i decided to step-out of the theater.