...but boy is it fantastic!! Act of Valor features genuine U.S. Navy SEALs and U.S. Navy Special Warfare Combatant Crewmen with actual military hardware, resultantly it has an incredible edge of realism, people's mannerisms and attitude to their equipment is authentic.
It follows the story of a global terrorist threat that is intent on smuggling suicide-bombers wrapped in the latest bomb-vest technology; untraceable & undetectable ceramic ball-bearing explosives. With the sheer number of people trying to infiltrate the United States via people-smuggling networks these relatively minor explosions will cause mass hysteria and ultimately the collapse of the American economy if the terrorists get their way. Standing between them and the world are the SEALs (Team 7, in this instance) who will not rest until this plot has been defused.
Firstly, I feel it important to say that I appreciate that this is a recruitment video, that it is American propaganda and heavily one-sided, but despite these points I have never been so entertained by a military film and for this - solely cinematic - perspective, Act of Valor definitely deserves the five stars. For fans of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
series or any other FPS this is a dream. There are multiple camera shots down-barrel, FLIR images from circling drones, HALO jumps, AC-130 Spectre gunships, sniper scope cameras and boat-drops from Chinooks. Basically, if it's been in a video-game it's here in all it's glory on celluloid. Not only does it have a strong element of realism, it's a beautifully shot experience filmed in multiple locations (The Philippines, Somalia, Mexico amongst others).
Extra Content: There are interviews with the Navy SEALs and 7 featurettes titled: Making Of, Real Bullets, Real SEALs Real Tactics, Silent Warriors, "For You" (a music video by Keith Urban), Making of the Music Video, Director's Intro.
The film states that the story is "based on real acts of valor" and all of the scenes have purportedly taken place, albeit not to the exact same unit in the frenetic sequence seen in this film, but that's Hollywood for you. The end result is an extremely entertaining, occasionally poignant, but always exciting military film. Highly recommended!