Monday, July 23, 2012

Film Review: Act of Valor

I got a chance to see a couple of movie over the weekend and I wanted to mention one and talk about the other.  The first was the new batman.  It was good but not as good as the last one with the Joker.  It seemed more of a movie to tie up the batman mythos that Christopher Nolan has created.  That's OK i guess, I am not a big fan of superhero movies in general so some of it left me cold.  I was not a fan of the Cillian Murphy cameo that dude just bugs me.  But all in all its what you would probably expect. 

The second movie was something called Act of Valor.  I actually enjoyed this much more than the batman film.  The action sequences were fantastic and utterly realistic.  I think that just worked for me.  The film is about a seal team the quickly gets involved in a plot against the United States.  The action takes place primarily in south America but does a bit of globe hopping. An element of the movie that is new is they used real soldiers in many paces rather than actors.  This really added to the feel of the film.

Here you have people functioning as a seal team really would rather than endlessly firing their machine guns.  They take cover and and work from room to room tactically.  This is very different than the end firefight in Batman which the villains really should have decimated the cops considering automatic weapons and cover.

Reviews for the film are generally bad, often talking about the acting.  The acting isn't great but its a film less about characters than actions and you get a feel that what is being said probably is correct to the situation.  Much of it is in jargon that seems appropriate. 

Roger Ebert commented negatively that he would have wanted to know the characters and have more development.  That could have worked with another story but the film was about action.  They even mention the philosophy of putting away self before the action starts.  I think the idea was to present the team less as individuals and more the team itself.  I think its unfair to ask the film to be something it doesn't set out to be.  I have seen some people mention seeing Saving Private Ryan as a better alternative.  Let me first off say Fuck you that movie sucked.  The first seen was good with the storming of the beaches then it when to complete shit after that.  The sniper seen was an inferior rip of Full Metal Jacket and was completely jingoistic.  That piece of shit manipulated facts to pain the Germans and unabashed Nazi's which was pretty much not the cases for the German Regular Army and the people on the front lines.  They were often on the outs with the party.  Spielberg is terrible I really can only say i liked 1941.  He should be ashamed of what he did with A.I. you only get the Kubrick feel in the scene where David destroys the copy version of himself.  That has a statement of self and being, the rest of the film is crap.

Its not without it's faults.  The connection of Mexican drug lords and terrorist wanting to carry out an attack that would economically cripple the US.  That's a bit far fetched!  Why would drug lords want to hurt their prime customers and even if they did the US would close the border and build a no mans land.  Also the death of the expectant father was something everyone could see a mile away.  It seemed pretty contrived to evoke an emotional response.  Some people have also claimed this is like a recruitment film, i have to say sort of yes.  There is a lot that looks like wow cool they get to pilot a mini sub from out of a real sub that is awesome.  There is a lot that looks awesome fun for a fourteen year old boy.

Other concerns that this was jingoistic hmm i don't know.  The movie is meant to be presented from the eyes of the seals. I don't know if they are reveling in the enemies defeat so much as happy to achieve their mission completion and get people home.  I don't know if there is an America Fuck Ya feel so much as my guys are coming home Fuck ya.  Also it's hard to think a movie that was created with the help of soldier and the military would be negative against the military. That would be as ridiculous as expecting the Batman movie to list DC comics as the evil front for Bane's operations.

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