26 June, 2012

Act of Valour

The unique selling point about Act of Valour remains the fact that it is based on real events and features real active duty Navy SEALs. It is also probably this point that makes the entire film about a team of Navy SEALs trying to stop a terrorist from entering America with undetectable human vest-bombs authentic and exciting.

What really struck me from the get go was the ingenious use of camera angles during the film. Be is the first person shooter action or what I call the carpet cam (the camera revolves as an undercover CIA agent is wrapped around in a carpet), there are just about enough varieties to keep the audience happy. Moreover, the film doesn't overdo anything when it comes to camera work, be is slow motion, shaky camera, or any of the other angles.

I do have to mention that at times the dialogue delivery by the "actors" seems a bit wooden, especially during the non-fighting scenes, but considering that they are not actors but soldiers, it is a small point that can be overlooked. The film has a lot more to offer than to fret over this.

Being a film about Navy SEALs the action scenes are of uttermost importance and they stand their ground. Intense and in-your-face Act of Valour is a look at the lives of people who rely on each other for support and is in complete contrast of the one-man-army Hollywood action films we are used to watching.     

Another aspect of the film that I personally appreciated was that the military/army/navy terms being used by the cast were in one way or another explained within the dialogue delivery. It might seem a bit childish and maybe the reason why the dialogue seems wooden at times, but in the end it is once again for the benefit for the audience.

Visually the film is simply brilliant. It might be a bit harsh to say since this is after all about war and death, but the fashion in which directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh shoot the scenes is simply a pleasure to eyes. Add to that the availability of the latest gadgetry and equipment and we have a film that can give any big budget Hollywood film a run for its money (I'm not sure what the budget of this film was, but it is stunning enough to justify whatever money was spent on it).    

While the film even comes across as a alternate version of G.I.Joe at times and at others a recruitment video, it doesn't hide away from the starkness of war and the dangers, tragedy, grief, and horrors that it brings about. It is about heroes, but heroes too have to make sacrifices in life, for their family, for their friends, for their country, and the film clearly showcases that aspect about these soldiers who fight to protect the country from both inside and outside threats.

Featuring some top-notch action and visually stunning imagery, Act of Valour is recommended viewing for anyone who prefers thrilling action films and for those who would like to know what it is to be in the heat of action for real.

Rating 4/5

You can find the DVD information below, but I would like to mention that the Deleted Scenes section has some rather interesting scenes; ones that I wish could have made it to the film, but nevertheless are available with the DVD along with other special features.

DVD/BluRay Information : Act of Valour
Certificate        15
Release Date       16 July 2012

Special Features   Trailer, Commentary with director, Deleated scenes, Interview with active-duty Navy SEALs, Making of, Real Bullets, "For You" Music video by Kieth Urban, Real SEALs Real Tactics, Making of the Music Video, Director's intro.  


  1. Nice review. I had read about the camera rolling with the carpet elsewhere. Yet to see the film. May be I will order the DVD sometime atleast to see how the Canon 5DII shots look like.

    1. Thanks. There are other shots besides the carpet cam that are equally fun. Visually it truly is stunning.

  2. I loved this film especially for its splendid work of cinematography. Although the film didn't have any stars, it still lived out quite well. Good post!

    1. I agree... And because it is a primarily action film, the "acting" aspect is not that important.... The picturization is something that makes up for everything.