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  • Writer's pictureSteve

Act of Valor (2012)

If you're American, you should be proud. At least, that is what this film wants you to feel. From all of the chest-beating national patriotism and over-ripe testosterone on display here, it beggars belief that every Navy Seal is not made up entirely out of tank parts. They are bionic, by all accounts. This is what Act Of Valor would have you believe. A group of under-the-radar, square-jawed mystery men on active service for their country, each with their own glossed over backstory setting about ending the 'War On Terror'. The enemies in this project appears to be everyone who isn't American, and therefore equally suspicious (which is practically the same thing as guilty, really).

As it happens, most of the ne'er do wells they come across truly are up to no good and deserve the lashing that Uncle Sam no doubt will give them. Fire first and ask questions later is the order of the day as the stars of this show have an All-American job to do. Bugger the actual facts on which these events are (ever so) loosely based. This is not about telling the truth, but the truth as you are meant to hear it for the sake of your own good as decided by those that allegedly know better what is good for you than you do.

If we're brutally honest about the whole project, this is more like watching Modern Warfare or Battlefield 3 (we even get some first person perspective from time to time) on the XBOX but not being allowed to pick up the joypad and take part in the fun. Consequences for actions are as watered down here as putting down said joypad after you have wiped out an entire village because your Mum has shouted that your tea is ready. There is no afterthought here, no moments of consideration about the orders they carry out. There is no moral fortitude in these men's' heads. There is the flag, the job and above all else, the hono(u)r.

Running like a version of any first person, squad based shooter you can think of, the plot requires that there has to be at least one car chase, suicide bombers, lots and lots of guns and ammo and, like the armed forces promise, plenty of foreign travel. The acting is fine if a little wooden in those moments when our stars are not letting their weapons off, the script is acceptable for its target audience and never over-complicated and the whole thing zips along at a pace suitable for an audience that gets easily and quickly bored.

The message here is clear, however. America is still great and the envy of the world and the people that hate her are all religious nutcases, hell bent on slaughtering the American innocents. I don't know which message is worse. This one or the one from their enemies. Both are equally misleading. Still, that is an argument for another time.

Yawn. Nobody is buying into this are they?.....


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