How does one approach writing about a film like Acts of Valor? It feels vaguely exploitative, given the recent tragedy surrounding the death of several SEAL team members in Afghanistan. It’s also a little strange, considering that it started out as nothing more than a recruiting film for the Navy (yes, really). Then people started thinking about making it into a documentary about the military’s Naval Special Warfare Command, and somehow that morphed into a full-length feature film… albeit one that stars actual Navy SEALs.
Weird, I know.
It’s directed by Mike McCoy and Scott Waughhe, and the co-stars and the villains are actors, portrayed by the likes of Rosalyn Sanchez and Emilio Rivera. But the stars of the film? Yep, actual, literal Special Forces badasses, starring in a fictional film about SEALs on a mission to rescue a captured CIA agent. And because the SEAL teams are such a secretive bunch, the names of the soldiers playing their fictional selves won’t actually be in the credits. So you’ll have no idea who they really are. It’s flat-out bizarre.
What’s even stranger is that the trailer below has a strangely video game feel to it, like one of those Call Of Duty trailers. Or should I say, one of those Battlefield trailers, because to compound the weirdness, and to make it feel even more exploitative, the trailer concludes with an ad for the newest Battlefield game. The whole thing is a little puzzling.
That said, the action footage is pretty impressive, and the shot of a sniper taking out a man on a boat, who is silently caught by an underwater frogman — that’s some compelling stuff. The film took three years to complete, mainly because the SEALs could only shoot the film when they were on training exercises. I have no idea how it will actually play out, and the film is fielding some stiff competition, including another SEAL movie directed by The Hurt Locker’s Kathryn Bigelow as well as Universal’s Lone Survivor. But it’s certainly an interesting idea.
Take a look:
Anything to wash the taste of this out of our mouths, right?