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, November 21, 2014
The Trench which is being staged at Old Buckenham Airfield

The Trench, inspired by the true-life story of the men who tunnelled in the First World War, gets a special staging at Old Buckenham Airfield, rock‘n’roll stalwart Joe Brown returns, Luke Wright hosts another Stand-Up Poetry Club, Foggy, Clegg and Compo come to the stage in Last of the Summer Wine, three artists are featured in exhibition Silks, Sable & Silva. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014
Joan Armatrading who is performing solo at Norwich's St Andrew's Hall

After 42 years of live performing, Joan Armatrading final major tour sees her performing solo for the first time, there is comedy from Shappi Khorsandi, punk poet John Cooper Clarke, magic from Paul Daniels, a touring production of Julius Caesar while the Octagon Concert Series celebrates 30 years. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this weekend.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014
Turn of the Screw performed by Glyndebourne Opera. Image: Alastair Muir

Glyndebourne on Tour bring three operas Benjamin Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie returns solo, Crude Apache celebrate their anniversary with a special Macbeth, Maggi Hambling exhibits works inspired by the North Sea and a touring production of Julius Caesar starts its tour. SIMON PARKIN picks six cultural highlights not to miss this week.

Most Read

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 10°C

Digital Edition

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