Act of Valor

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +4

Content: -2

Cast: Active Duty Navy SEALs, Roselyn Sanchez, Alex Veadov, Jason Cottle, Nestor Serrano. Directed Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh.

FILM SYNOPSIS: When the rescue of a kidnapped CIA operative leads to the discovery of a deadly terrorist plot against the U.S., a team of SEALs is dispatched on a worldwide manhunt. An unprecedented blend of real-life heroism and original filmmaking, Act of Valor stars a group of real-life Navy SEALs in a powerful story of contemporary global anti-terrorism.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Powerful, gut-wrenching, and mesmerizing, Act of Valor will surely stand alongside films such as Patton, The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan as a great depiction of men at war.

Despite a few clumsy speech deliveries from their non-pro cast, directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh keep us hooked with good pacing and a revelatory passion for the most elite, highly trained warriors in the modern world. As with 1968ís The Green Berets, this is a propaganda piece, designed to give Americans a firsthand look at this special force. Unlike The Green Berets, itís not bloated or bland. I think the world of John Wayne and the Green Berets, and love that filmís theme song, but the Dukeís tribute to the men who fought in the Viet Nam war was clichťd, overly long and poorly acted. Thatís not the case with Act of Valor.

Focusing on two missions, we are given a precise look at what these tactical teams do, one that reveals the character of the men and women who have to do it. By filmís end, youíll have a new appreciation for what our nationís defenders are willing to sacrifice on our behalf.

I must point out one action sequence, as it is remarkable filmmaking. At one point early on, a female agent on our side is abducted and tortured (hard scenes to view, admittedly) and the SEALs are sent in to get her out. The precision of the extraction and the filmmakersí cinematic agility keep us glued to the screen. It may be the best action sequence Iíve ever seen at the movies. For, although jillions of $s are spent on actioneers such as the Mission Impossible franchise, thereís more substance in this detailed sequence. Though this is a fictional scene, it resonates with the same expertise found in actual covert operations of late.

As to the filmís R rating, certain depictions of violence are shown, indicating the horrors afflicting the world today. The press notes rightfully declare that war is not rated PG. And while there is also some salty language, those of you who have served in the military know that salty language comes with the territory. I was pleased, however, that the amount of obscenity seemed to be controlled by the filmmakers. Itís nothing like the recent The Grey, in which there are a combination of over 200 uses of the f-and s-words, alone.

I have defended certain R-rated films such as Schindlerís List, Dead Man Walking and Tsotsi because of their spiritual depth. In their cases, the profundity outweighed the profanity. I feel the same can be said for Act of Valor, for it is a film that reminds viewers of the apocalyptic times we near. And though Jesusí name is heard irreverently twice, I caught no abuse of Godís (rare for any film these days Ė His name is even profaned in the recent fluffy romance The Vow). Still, you may have drawn the line by not attending R-rated movies. For those who will attend an R film if there is substance to it, I have given you my opinion of the film, plus a description of its content. Now, itís your call.

Check out the website Itís a ministry resource developed by two former Navy SEALS who are also Believers.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Bandito Brothers

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Around 30 obscenities, - an equal mix of the f- and s-words.

Profanity: Two misuses of Jesusí name.

Violence: The violence consists of a lot of guys getting shot, many by snipers, with blood splattered on backgrounds; a bomb is set off as school children are nearing an unsuspected danger zone and a woman is badly beaten and we see instruments we know are to be used to cause her great pain. Blood spatters each time a sniper shoots someone in the head.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: None

Running Time: 111 minutes
Intended Audience: Mature viewers

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