Act of Valor – a movie and a necessity

It’s funny how a few words can spark so much emotion isn’t it? How they can really get you going? But lets not put the cart before the horse just yet… I’ll get back to that… oh trust me I’ll get back to that. I just got back from my local theater where I entertained myself with a little film you might have heard of called Act of Valor, about “an elite team of Navy SEALs who embark on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent.” This movie was definitely entertaining, but I have more to say about its social implications than its entertainment value.

The movie Act of Valor was filmed using active-duty Navy SEALs as its main actors. The story centers around a group of Navy SEALs who must protect the interests of America from a terrorist attack. The script is noting new or unique, it was written by Kurt Johnstad who wrote 300, but the action is what makes this movie. The film actually began as a training/recruit video which evolved into something much more once they realized what they actually had on their hands. First-time feature film directors and former stuntmen Mike (Mouse) McCoy and Scott Waugh were able to capture amazing action sequences and tactics because the majority of the action scenes in this movie were filmed as part of actual training exercises. What does that mean? It means that this movie contained REAL machine gun battles, REAL submarines, REAL high speed boats with mini-guns, REAL aircraft carriers, and REAL helicopters, all while using LIVE FUCKING AMMUNITION… oh and it was done on a budget of about $12 million dollars… eat your heart out Hollywood big budget films, maybe you should start taking some lessons from doing things with military like precision and efficiency.

The action in this movie was decent at its worst, and cheer-inspiring at its best (what do you expect when you capture training exercises with live ammunition), and it really puts the viewer in the “first person shooter” position. This is almost the Call Of Duty movie some people have been waiting for. Since the main actors are not actors at all, the acting is stale (with the exception of the character “Senior.” His acting throughout the entire film is beyond awesome for a non-actor. He is likable, convincing, and entertaining… not to mention that he is the real shit. His interrogation scene… so very awesome its unspeakable), as so is the story. But this movie accomplishes what it was set out to do; to portray real life acts of valor and show what our military is made of. And you know what… what is wrong with that?

A couple days ago I came across a Twitter comment, a Tweet if you will, and I really wish I remembered who it was from, but recently I started to notice a lot of other comments along the same lines. I can’t recall it verbatim but it read something like this, “CAUTION! Act of Valor is nothing more than a recruiting tool for the U.S. Navy!!! Dont Be Fooled!!!” And I thought at first.. well, duh. The movie has “Ooh-rah!” written all over it. And then as I was sitting in the movie, it all came full circle. So what if it is? What the hell is so wrong with that?

Why can’t the U.S. Navy whose men and women serve to protect us, have a film which shows how fucking bad ass they are? What is so wrong with that? Why should we be ashamed of this, why should it be shunned, why is this something we should keep hidden like a dirty little secret!? I say show it! I could see a hundred more films like this before I see some other bullshit Hollywood movie trying to mask its left leaning message inside of some romantic comedy. I’m not talking politics here, I’m talking facts. With how far left Hollywood leans, the way they feign tolerance and acceptance, with the well known fact that actors who publicly lean right are shunned if not blacklisted completely, its amazing this movie even got made – it is absolutely amazing.

What is the difference between Act of Valor, and a movie whose motives and messages are hidden!? I say the latter of the two is the more evil! Why should we be ashamed of what we are!? Of what we have! This movie makes our military look bad ass, and you know what… IT FUCKING IS! I’m sorry if I am letting the cat out of the bag for anyone who didn’t know it, but like it or not America is the most powerful nation on this planet and our Military is all sorts of awesome! Is everyone so naive as to think that other countries don’t have something similar to this out there!? Maybe it isn’t as polished and as mainstream as Act of Valor but you better believe they have something like this which serves as their recruiting tool. And why is that a bad thing? Everyone deserves the right to brag every now and then. Every country and every man begs for the opportunity to pound their chest, to beat their own drum, to show what they are truely made of. We all need something to believe in. I’m not going to sit here and apologize for this film. It did was it was supposed to do. It showed the strength, intelligence, bravery, and the power of our fighting forces and I will not be ashamed of this. Was this a great movie? By no means. Was it entertaining as hell? You better believe it. Everyone deserves the right to show their sense of pride. And every country and every man, every now and then, wants to see the size of their dog in the fight.

Pssst... Hey, over here... it's America.


9 responses to “Act of Valor – a movie and a necessity

  • Lounge Sweet

    Cant say I agree with your views, but we can both agree on your freedom have them, and express them.

    I dont feel the US needs to see MORE of just how bad ass the military is, just switch on CNN during any war and you get a good old brain full of it. The US dont need to recruit, they just need to go fight and you will have hours of footage every day blasting over the airwaves.

    The film seems to go out of its way to eliminate the moral ambiguity of the situations the soliders find themselves in. Take the raid on Cedros Island, you see dozens of huts and signs of normal life, cloths on lines, babies crying, dogs barking, but when the shooting breaks out people pour out from everywhere, armed to the teeth with AKs and Rocket launchers. Everyone is a bad guy = no collateral damage.

    War is a part of almost every nations history, for the US it seems to define its present. While other nations write films to honour the valor of their fighting men, the US often use it to glorify and ultimately to recuit.

    The film cost so little because the Tax payer picked up the rest of the tab, who pays for those military exercises….

    This film could have been about anything at all, these units are some of the most active units in the world and have been for the last 40 years, but the plot was written around a terroist cell planning an attack on the US. Come on guys…

    But the finale for me was the Mexican SOF team that meet them in Mexico. “Hey we love you guys, where do you want to go, we can take you anywhere. No need for me to check in with my commanders, you see while I said that my government is worried about a “Blackhawk Down” scenario, I am happy to take you into the exact spot I just defined as “of all the places in Mexico you could have to go, this is probably the worst, run by the cartel from all sides, heavily out gunned” but I will take you anywhere you want to go. No problem’o.”

    This was a poor film at best, I loved the technical and tactical elements of the film but feel that it gave way after the first 60 mins to an ending that was like a badly written action flick. The first 60 mins was like watching a documentry, but take a break and strech your legs for say the last 30 mins or so, text a friend or slip into the ending of some chick flick, you will be more satisfied and there is likely to be less bile in your mouth.

    • Jake

      Thanks for the comment… I’m not sure I think the US needs more of these films, but just wanted to point out some of the hypocrisy in hollywood/media… But yes the film in itself was awesome action around a very generic plot line… It didn’t do anything for me on the story but I must say I loved the tactical aspect of seeing the missions executed. Good action, bad movie hahha. But hey everyone had the right to their own opinion! Thanks for reading!

  • seagravedriver

    Very well put. What ever shortcomings there is in the acting is more than made up for in the quality of the content. Finally a movie that does not feel like an apiology. Some foul language? Yes! But if anyone here has been close to dying, been shot at, or put your life at risk, you would understand. WELL DONE!

  • Eddie

    Thank you for this positive review! You address cogent points that people should not forget. There IS propaganda out there, but it’s slanted to the other side, vilifying ALL authority (including that purposed to protect our liberties), and vilifying the use of force by those authorities to do their jobs. Guns are SUPPOSED to be scary. Why? Because there’s such a thing as healthy fear. The fear of the abuse of power is a healthy fear, but what people want to do to the Department of Defense is akin to de-clawing or de-fanging a lion. It defeats the point of a lion. The idea of there being absolute judgement of any kind (in this case, murderous extremists or drug smugglers taking bullet rounds to the head) is offensive to the person who thinks that they shouldn’t have to answer to ANY authority, as irrational and self-refuting as that is. That’s the reason for the unfavorable reviews in my opinion—a difference in worldview between some people and those who like a movie that puts the fear of God in you.

    • Jake

      Well said Eddie, thanks for the comments. I think this was a good overall action movie showing what our boys are really made of. I didn’t take it for any more or any less than that. It was fun to watch but all the comments I was reading about propaganda this and that really just started to frustrate me after a while! But you can’t let it get to you too much hahaha. Hope you enjoyed the article and the website!

  • Mark

    Entertaining movie if you are going for the whole shoot em part, but not much beyond that. Fun movie and I’ll probably see I again. And you’re right, no kidding it’s a recruiting movie. How else would they get access?

    • Jake

      Its just funny to see non-actors make even a simple goodbye scene seem stiff and awkward. The real actors just make it look easy I guess. But yeah story was “meh” and the acting…, well you cant fault them for that. But the action was awesome. A bit too much shaky-cam style and quick cutting for me in some parts, but overall it was great. When they brought in those boats with the mini-guns rollin’ to rescue them after that truck chase scene… I literally wanted to stand up and cheer and shout a big F-you to the bad guys hahaha it was awesome!

      • Anonymous

        I get pumped when i see those boats too! Those guys are Special Warfare Combatant Craft crewmen!! Its like a year of training to be one of those guys too!! Love seeing that shit!!

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