Act of Valour (or Act of Valor if you hail from the US) is a terrible film. I have to say that up front. I was going to beat about the bush and say how much I admire filmmakers who try to give audiences something different, pushing the boundaries of cinema – but life is too short for that. Directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh decided that the best way to replicate the real-life action of the Navy SEALS was to cast real-life Navy SEALS in their film – it’s an interesting idea, but boy was it a bad one.
Sure, the SEALS may be able to handle themselves during the action scenes, but they cannot act, which is ironic considering that the film is called Act of Valour. It’s like watching a big-budget, action reality series, only with less emotion. The ‘boys’ aren’t helped by what must be the most cliché riddled script of the last decade. It’s verging on Hot Shots! style parody. Even Daniel Day-Lewis couldn’t convince when spitting out this trite dialogue. The opening voiceover (and there’s a lot of voiceover) is some of the worst writing I have heard in a film – ever. It’s all performed with a (monotonous) po-faced sincerity, with bombastically bland music blaring in the background.
Act of Valour is basically a two hour advert for the US military, like Top Gun without the charisma. It’s a badly written, poorly acted actioner that strives to place itself beside the best pro-American, military works of Jerry Bruckheimer, but instead it can’t even manage to achieve the level of the Charlie Sheen/Micheal Biehn starrer, Navy SEALS.
Avoid. Go watch Pearl Harbour instead.