U.S. Navy SEALS rock. “Act of Valor” doesn’t.
This high-concept action flick makes one key mistake and dozens of other lesser transgressions that add up to one very disappointing film.
The BIG mistake is using real Navy SEALS in key roles. These guys may be great at saving the country from the baddies, but boy, do they ever give bad line-readings.
Once you realize these actors aren’t going to improve as the film goes on, the more you start to recognize “Act of Valor’s” other shortcomings, like the convoluted story and sub-plots. Folks, it’s the amateur hour. Even the pro actors playing some of the less-important roles are terrible. A good director could have put everyone on the straight-and-narrow. But, the direction, editing and writing are all hopelessly sub-par.
The U.S. Navy assisted with the production to make the experience as real as Hollywood could make it. Why? Well, this could be a very good recruiting tool for an underappreciated branch of the military.
On the positive side, many of the explosions and stunts are technical marvels. If the scenes had been more tightly and coherently written, at least action fans would have something to crow about. As it stands, “Act of Valor,” is a failed mission. Grade: C-