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Movie Review: ‘An Act of Valor’

Feb 232012
 
 By , February 23, 2012

“An Act of Valor” — A Film Review by Gary Chew

That famous WWII quote of President Roosevelt’s, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” has taken on a permutation of late which you’ve probably heard. It goes something like, “The only thing they have is fear itself.” This new twist of the phrase seems like it fits and offers a good way to start a few thoughts about a new film:

“Act of Valor” not only doesn’t just have fear itself because it has so much more going for it than fear itself. Yes, plenty of fear and lots of fuzzy conflation that characterizes the bad guys in the narrative, although the truly remarkable and honorable acts of American valor depicted are based on real events, and should make an American proud.

It’s difficult to say, though, how much license was taken by screenwriter, Kurt Johnstad. Mr. Johnstad also wrote scripts for three other films you may remember: ”True Vengeance,” “The Fear Inside,” “300” and “300: Battle of Artemisia,” yet to be released.

The dudes all look and act alike.

“Act of Valor’s” story is simple. An elite team of Navy SEALS goes on a covert mission to rescue a CIA agent who’s partner has been killed and she is being brutally tortured by her kidnappers for information.

The killers and kidnappers evolve into a cadre or, I should say, a conglomeration of Russian crooks, Russian jihadists, Mexican drug runners and various evil-looking, dark-skinned poor people who don’t speak much English and get their bloody brains spattered on the wall behind them as the crack shooting SEALS take them out.

The only rich bad guy in the bunch is a intellectual-looking left wing Jew with long icky hair who wears tiny wire-rimmed glasses, if you know what I mean. He collaborates with a Russian jihadist who has a goatee and wears a cap that looks much like one Vladimir Lenin is usually pictured wearing.

After retrieving the woman, the SEALS discover that the CIA operatives were onto something exceedingly ominous: attacks on the US by an array of militants in many places and of several backgrounds. Some of the weaponry set for use is meticulously detailed to heighten the film’s fear factor. Eventually, “Act of Valor” shows the weapon’s effectiveness so the audience fully appreciates how deadly the devices can be when used on unsuspecting innocent victims, especially in sporting events crowds.

The almost constantly occurring well-filmed assaults happen in several well-identified locales. The film’s showdown occurs in a border tunnel that snakes its way from Mexico to the US.

This might be a more exciting part of the film for moviegoers in Texas, Arizona and Southern California.

Rachel Sanchez

I recognized no actor in the movie, except for the woman who plays the kidnapped CIA agent. Her name is Roselyn Sanchez, a cast member in the television series, “Without a Trace.”

Moreover, it was difficult distinguishing most of the male US military personnel from one another since most had chiseled Clark Kent type faces with the Kirk Douglas jaw. This includes the authentic Navy SEALS in the film and the actors who play the leading roles.

“Act of Valor’s” acting is B to B plus, but other values needed for a good movie are totally in tact.

Motion, sound and action are first rate. The editing and clearly displayed graphics snap. The music is up town and escapes the speakers at just the right moments for the peerless punching of emotion buttons. The film really moves. That would be in a couple ways, by the way. All of that better part of “Act of Valor” is as good as any other movie I’ve seen recently.

As the film begins, the narrator reads a quote that includes a phrase which forecasts the tilt of the movie. It goes something like this, “I knew that the worst thing about a man aging into an old man is that other people will know that he is now not dangerous.”

That should give you an idea if “Act of Valor” is something to see, especially for young, impressionable males to see.

Our nation’s military personnel who must do what’s depicted in this film are owed a debt of gratitude that none of us can fully repay since our security is paramount. But still, so energizing those inclined to pursue adventure and glory, even if most of their feelings obtain from a sincere love of country, it’s surely a wise thought to keep in mind that revenge isn’t something that ought be sought.

When General Sherman said that war is hell, he likely meant that it’s hell for both sides doing the fighting—the winner notwithstanding.

You’ll see a lot of well-crafted hell in “Act of Valor.”

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Gary Chew was a classical music host, programmer and producer on Capital Public Radio’s KXPR 88.9FM, Sacramento for 18 years. He retired in January 2007. Read more about Gary's long and storied career here.
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  • Ralph_adamo

    Of course, this “review” fails to mention that the point of the film is that the real threat today is not Islam, Muslim terrorists, or Saudi sponsors of global terrorism. Lord no.  The real villain behind the scenes is a Jew.  That’s right, a Jew.  Forget all that nonsense you read about Jews being great scientists, artists, musicians, historians, physicians, attorneys, accountants, financiers, and all the other stuff that makes up civilization.And forget about that nonsense you read every single day about Muslim groups killing some group of people or another.  We all know that doesn’t really happen and that Muslims are the most peaceful people on the planet.  Now, thanks to this great new movie, “An Act of Valor,” we know that the Jew is the real enemy of humanity.  I know I’ve heard that message before, somewhere long ago, from some people in some nation in Europe in the the lat 1930s, but I can’t put my finger on it.  The once had a leader that was spouting that very same message as this movie.  I can’t remember his name, but surely the world would be a better place if civilization had not given in to its civilized ways, and listened to him.  Oh well, we can do the next best thing and watch this movie and then spread the good word. I’ll take ten thousand 911 attacks before another Jew wins a Nobel prize for some scientific development or another.  That’s just the kind of guy I am. Thanks, Gary.  We need more people like you.