A lot of people are going to be confused with directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh' film "Act of Valor".


The confusion will begin with the search for top notch acting. Forget it, the only scenes that count are performed by actual Navy Seals, not Sylvester Stallone dressed as a Navy Seal. If you don't understand the lingo, it is because you weren't in the armed services where the lingo is standard covert op stuff.


If you are looking for a bona fide narrative, well that's lacking as well. You see it is an action film that could double as a recruiting tool. They are soldiers, they go on a mission some might not come back. The end. Very simple.

To that end, a lot of people will not like the film just like so many didn't like George Lucas' "Red Tails". They went in looking for one thing and that was never the intent of the movie makers.


The perfect target audience for "Act of Valor" are: guys who play Activision's Call of Duty, guys who are paintball fanatics, and guys thinking of enlisting in the services because they have an urge to kill someone.


If you don't fall into any of those three categories don't bother. In other words, if you have already been in the armed services "Act of Valor" will do nothing save perhaps stirring suppressed memories.


This is a movie that makes "Rambo" look like a punk. It involves Navy Seal platoon Bandito, a group currently home between missions. They are a fairly close knit group, their wives and families even intermix. More importantly, they have been on enough missions to know when what the other member is thinking before he acts. It is a well oiled mission machine.

They are called to a mission in the Middle East to extract a woman kidnapped by terrorists. On the surface, she is just an American associated person working in the wrong place at the wrong time.


They go through the ritual of saying their goodbyes to their families and preparing fro the mission; a mission that has it's quirks, but is overall apparently a fairly easy in and out procedure.


Upon arrival they first learn that their target is a CIA operative and, it isn't going to be as easy as one-two-three. She is under guard by a notoriously bad-ass cell leader.


But with a little patience and the use of some of that well-oiled machine precision, they extract her while she is still alive. But it is at that point the seals learn that she is merely the tip of an iceberg.

The guy in charge is working on a plan to commit a devastating act terrorism in the U.S. using multiple suicide bombers wearing vest that could each kill hundreds of people in multiple sites. Now their mission takes them to coast of Africa and then to Mexico where the act is being staged with the help of the local drug cartel.


What we get is a lot of action, a lot of people having their brains splattered and a lot of mission specific jargon to make every military nerd squirt in his pants! The action loks real, because the action is staged as if it's a real mission. Some scenes use real bullets. The acting isn't geat because, they aren't acting... these are mostly soldiers doing that thing they do.


"Act of Valor" is a kick ass, military procedural that will either draw you in, or turn you off. For the most part it is a documentary on steroids with full automatic weaponry.   -- GEOFF BURTON