Search

Review: Act Of Valour

09:41 26 March 2012

Act of Valour

Act of Valour

Archant

There was a time when, in the aftermath of Vietnam, soldiers were generally portrayed negatively in movies as dehumanised killers. The 1990s saw some softening of attitudes as film-makers.

Increasingly looked back to the Second World War for its many examples of noble heroism by simple, ordinary people.

The post-9/11 attitude is that you can hate the war but not the soldiers fighting it: culturally, we are all embedded now. They are still dehumanised killers but they’re very organised and disciplined and brave and that overrides all objections.

Act Of Valour stars real-life Navy Seals, using real-life ammo, in a made-up adventure with actors. It starts with a rescue mission to save a mere actor, Roselyn Sanchez, who is playing an undercover CIA agent who has been captured by an evil South American drug dealer and builds towards a jihadist plot against America.

It’s propaganda alright – the War on Terror’s equivalent of John Wayne’s Green Berets – but ultimately flawed propaganda. The Navy Seals have as much charisma as English lock forwards and negotiate their dialogue like it was an awkward pitchside interview.

They are trapped in a rather stilted recruitment video while the baddies/ actors are living it up in a Bond film. In one scene, a Chechen jihadist visits his weapons maker in his factory and interrupts him while he is playing the violin. Another swarthy villain is captured on his luxury yacht, complete with bikini-clad dolly birds. He may be a threat to national security but he lives like a Euromillions winner.

To the movie goer, accustomed to individual acts of improbable heroism, there is an inherent problem with a film that emphasises teamwork, preparation and superior fire power – every action scene looks like a turkey shoot. As a scaredy-cat westerner hoping that someone out there is protecting me, the lop-sidedness of the fights is reassuring.

But as a movie goer, it affronts my sense of fair play. I don’t mind propaganda, but if you are going to tell me reassuring stories I’d like to be reassured at the end of them. Our heroes aren’t quite Full Metal Jackets but their just-cause-worth-dying-for credo gets to sound too much like the other side after a while. After some initial novelty, the much vaunted action sequences aren’t all that different from those in most Hollywood films. Even the marines live in a Michael Bay world now.

ACT OF VALOUR (15)

Directors: Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh

Starring: Real Navy Seals, Alex Veadou, Roselyn Sanchez and Nestor Serrano

Length: 110 mins

**

0 comments

Other Diss events

Friday, January 29, 2016
Makers’ Month starts on Monday, February 1 and throughout February people can have a go at spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, sketching, printing and more. 
Picture from left to right are: Edna Standley, from Norfolk Knitters and Stitchers; textile artist Johanne Couldrey; textile artist Kally Davidson; Joy Evitt, from Norfolk Costume and Textile Association; Helen Dawson, chairman of Norfolk Countryside Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Guild; and textile artist Aviva Leigh. Photo: supplied.

From making felt from raw fleece to creating a crocheted totem pole, people can get involved in an array of activities next month when weavers, spinners and other craft-makers take over The Forum in Norwich.

Thursday, January 28, 2016
La Boheme is parrt of the Corn Hall On Tour programme

The Merry Opera Company will be bringing the opera La Boheme to Norfolk as part of the Diss Corn Hall on Tour programme.

Thursday, January 28, 2016
Cast of the new Dad's Army film (left to right): Blake Harrison as Pike, Danny Mays as Walker, Tom Courtenay as Corporal Jones, Toby Jones as Captain Mainwaring, Bill Paterson as Fraser, Bill Nighy as Wilson and Michael Gambon as Godfrey. Universal Pictures/PA Wire

The critics may have spoken – and not always in the kindest terms – but for the most ardent of Dad’s Army fans, the new film version of the classic comedy does not disappoint.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Peter Jay at the Hippodrome Circus in Great Yarmouth.  Picture: James Bass Picture: James Bass  Copy: Stacia Briggs For: EDP2 Eastern Daily Press © 2010  (01603) 772434

He leaves a legacy of music across the globe – from Ibiza to the Norfolk Broads, just as he sang on Life On Mars.

Most Read

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 5°C

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Diss Mercury e-edition today E-edition