Wednesday, February 29, 2012


My friends and I had a Guys Movie Night. We saw "Act of Valor." This movie is a surprising blend of a Blockbuster Action Adventure and a Reality Documentary. Active duty Navy SEALs are cast as the main characters. While the acting is not up to Hollywood's intense, emotional range standards it is powerfully believable. A briefing from the Senior Chief has the ring of authenticity and the jargon-laden conversations don't suffer from a lack of interpretation.

The action scenes have the feel of authenticity because much of the movie consists of actual training using live fire. One scene has two SWCC (Special Warfare Combat Crewmen) boats extracting the SEALS from a riverbank crawling with armed hostiles. The SWCCs turn one of their vehicles into a flaming colander that makes Bonnie and Clyde's car look like it ran into a little light hail.

Apparently, there are a lot of critics of the movie. I would have to give them a big raspberry. I guess they are offended that the SEALs don't commit atrocities, or engage in soul-searching self examinations, or show how America really deserves to be hated. Instead, the movie follows a SEAL platoon as they discover and track down a terror threat approaching the continental United States.

The movie also carefully avoids revealing certain tactics and descriptions; as it should. The team parachutes into Central America, but the movie does not show how they form up, or conceal their landing presence. Intelligence on the terror attack is developed, but HOW that is done is severely limited as far as the audience knows. Good. as a writer of action adventure stories I am curious about such things, but I don't want to reveal them to the bad guys, either.

Since I wrote COLOMBIAN KILO, a SEAL/Submarine adventure, my favorite shot of the movie is of an SSGN (Guided Missile Nuclear Submarine) diving; The Sub's sail is visible underwater as it slowly disappears beneath the waves. Very cool shot and done without the benefit of CGI.

To say the least, I HIGHLY recommend this movie. It accurately depicts the men, women and families of our warriors as they put their lives on the line to protect us daily.

No comments: