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

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Panto feat pix 4/12/14

This pantomime season is upon us once again — oh yes it is. SIMON PARKIN dons his best panto dame garb and casts his eye over this year’s festive shows for all the family.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Dawn French will perform at the Cambridge Corn Exchange on November 29-30.

Forget the 12 days of Christmas, as we head into December SIMON PARKIN offers 12 nights of comedy that will have us laughing all the way up to the season of good cheer.

Thursday, November 27, 2014
Cromer Pier Christmas Show 2014. 
Picture: Antony Kelly

There is extra sparkle as the Cromer Pier Christmas Show begins its 10th anniversary season, singer-songwriter Nick Harper performs his mellow new album, there is an Olivier Award-nominated production of Michael Morpurgo’s charming I Believe In Unicorns, comedian and activist Mark Thomas returns and author Louis de Bernières joins The Brook Street Band to celebrate Handel. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.

Most Read

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 7°C

Digital Edition

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