It’s not too often that an action movie moves grown men to the sniffles but I’ll wager “Act of Valor” had lots of big tough guys wiping tears away in the dark.
I mostly missed the reviews before the movie’s opening weekend but I did know that the producers broke the mold of action movie-making by casting real Navy Seals in the movie instead of actors and stuntmen. I didn’t really think it would work too well myself. Lots of big-time movie critics felt the same way.
My wife had seen the reviews and interviews with the principals in the movie and she suggested we go see it on opening weekend. It shocked me that my wife was actually asking to go see an action movie and I couldn’t pass that opportunity up. We were overdue for a date night anyway so we went to the show.
The Navy Seals have been riding high since they took down Bin Laden last year and I guess it’s just amazing that we hadn’t been blessed with a movie about this elite group before now.
The movie opens with members of the team grabbing precious family time just prior to a deployment. From there things quickly jump into high gear with the team chasing bad guys bent on terrorism toward the U.S. all over the globe, finally ending up on our very borders.
The movie gave a glimpse at the way our country will fight its battles in the future. We’re already doing it, it’s a much more personal and pinpoint battlefield that holds those actually responsible for evil accountable. I like that idea a lot better than a big battlefield with innocents and uncommitted soldiers dying for poorly defined goals.
The acting in this movie didn’t bother me even a little bit after the action got under way. The director understood that emotion can be portrayed in ways other than dialogue delivered perfectly. The camera and story can more than compensate when you do it right just as the opposite can be true of accomplished Broadway actors capable of delivering a one-man performance on a barren stage.
The movie drives home the idea that in the future our military professionals will exemplify valor and be ready to give up everything for their fellow countrymen. The idea of a few doing a lot for many is a heavy idea and it should give us all pause to think about the debt we owe our elite military units.
We’re fortunate to have a group of elite military, the Air Commandos of the 27th Special Operations Wing, living right here in our own community. My position has afforded me an opportunity to interact with these fine men and women on a frequent basis and I always come away impressed at their dedication and professionalism and their love for country and family.
The type of mission they perform for our country necessitates that we won’t know what these neighbors in uniform do for us everyday. We won’t get a DVD of their mission to view at our leisure but trust that their sacrifices are great.
Thank God that they have accepted the call to dedicate themselves to what they do for a living, then find a way to serve them and their families here at home.
Karl Terry writes for Clovis Media Inc. Contact him at: