Act of Valor: A Sparkling Review

I recently saw the new film Act of Valor with several friends. To put it succinctly, it was one of the best movies of any genre that I have ever seen.

The film used active duty United States military to depict a Navy SEAL team conducting several covert missions to rescue a CIA operative from Jihad terrorists, overtake a Somali pirate ship, and prevent a group of 16 Islamic suicide bombers from crossing the U.S. border from Mexico through a series of underground tunnels.

Objectively, the acting had minor limits, but as the main characters are real-life soldiers and not actors, they did remarkably well.  I believe most of it was probably not an extremely difficult transition for the team of eight, for the action/fighting/gunfire/boat/plane/truck scenes were as impressively realistic as someone like me (regular civilian) could imagine them to be.  Indeed, the first rescue scene takes places in a Philippine river and is as breathtakingly intense and remarkable as perhaps any war scene ever, with the only competition being from the D-Day scene in Saving Private Ryan.

This movie, which refreshingly and appropriately honors our troops instead of degrading them –as Hollywood is all-too-prone to do – depicts numerous acts of true heroism.  The men leave their wives and children, knowing there is a decent chance they might not see them again.  Some give the ultimate sacrifice, their life, while doing literally whatever it takes to ensure the terrorists and their explosives don’t enter the U.S.

It is an incredible tribute to the valiant effort given by those who dedicate their lives to keeping our beloved homeland safe.  As I type this, I cannot help but be quite taken aback by the enormous price that has been paid by so many in order that I may live freely.

Perhaps my tweets directly after leaving the theatre best capture how I felt about the movie:

“Out of Act of Valor. If there’s a better movie exemplifying the American military, I’ve not seen it. Incredible. Absolutely incredible.”

“Audience was silent as they left the theatre. Only other movie I’ve ever been at that where that’s happened was Passion of the Christ.”

“Everyone should see Act of Valor. Thank God for the freedom our fighting men and women have provided us. God bless our troops.”

I am not ashamed to admit that the concluding scene (and credits, including a scrolling list of each Navy officer who has lost their lives in battle since 9/11) caused my eyes to tear up.  The guys I was with mentioned the same thing.   It also created an intense emotion of gratification, as well as some feeling of regret that I had not enlisted to serve our country when I graduated high school.

In my opinion, Act of Valor is an absolute must-see for anyone over the age of 14.  I cannot praise it enough, nor do words fully do justice to the message it rightly sends.  Too often movies involving our fighting men and women do so in a way that portrays them in less-than-magnificent light.  These heroes deserve nothing but our thankful hearts and appreciative encouragement.  They deserve to be properly represented for the sheer courage and bravery they display every time they lace up their boots.  They deserve to be honored for their service.

Act of Valor does just that.  It is a pleasure to recommend this movie.  As a grateful American, I’m not sure I’ve witnessed anything more powerful.

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