Act of Valor. Directed by: Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh (who for some reason refer to themselves as the "Bandito Brothers," howsomever only during séances of butt-slapping and drinking beer right outten the bottle on account of you ain't not getting near the SEALs unless you can walk the walk). Starring: Dunno. It's a secret, so we don't get the names beyond Master Chief Bob (not his real name) and Lieutenant Senior Grade Bob (not his real name) only it's his real face, up there ten foot tall for whole world including terrorists and foreign agents to see so not sure how clever this whole secret squirrel premise is, but hey... Rest of the cast, it is alleged, all active duty service members, at least all of them who can't act. CIA agent billed as Roselyn Sanchez (perhaps her real name, perhaps not... but mostly not her real face since largest part her time on screen we only see that face all swolled up on account of beat to pulp by evil Philippine cum Guatemalan cum Baluchistani narco-atomo-islamo-barbo-terrorists, who, if they'd stay off the cell phone, would probably still be at it).
Whoa! Lousy movie! Ouch! I have said previously and of the film Ladder 49 (review attached, maybe) that a lousy movie about firemen is still a good movie. Civilians need to see it between excursions to the Galleria if for no other reason to get an idea of the life of those who protect them and of the sacrifice that such a life entails. I'm tempted to say the same thing regarding a lousy movie about SEALs: still a good thing, whether it's Steven Segal on a battleship, Charlie Sheen in Q'bqkkqb, Bruce Willis in Zimbabwaziland, Demi Moore in Q'bqkkqb, or, as in this case Master Chief Bob and his Ell Tee (secret squirrel Navy talk for Lieutenant, often abbreviated LT), Lieutenant Senior Grade Bob in Mexico? Mexico? Wait a minnit. We run black ops in Mexico? Jeez... we better hope they don't watch Gringo movies and find out, hunh? In fact, it's surprising how many sovereign countries we do violate in this movie. I for one do not necessarily object, just not sure how smart we are to tell whole flockin' world about it and validate that asservation by the presence of actual operators in the documentary (no Mexicans were harmed during the filming this um, er... documentary, story is: documentary that went wildly, comically wrong).
I mention Ladder 49 and remind readers that it ends up in a cemetery with a fireman's funeral. That put me in mind at the time of similar scenes in film, notably the finale of Coppola's Gardens of Stone, where they plant the teddybear lieutenant in Arlington to the plaintive wail of Taps and the report of that celebratory volley for a dead man likely killed by a volley. Last time I was at Arlington to plant one of my buds from the Vietnam Era (as we now call Ancient History), was in the Medal of Honor Patch (where they drop Lieutenant Senior Grade Bob... sorry to spoil it for you, but it's in the teaser, so not a surprise). I couldn't get near the graveside since was clogged by all the four-stars and three-stars and two-stars and one-stars (all discretely stacked by rank, let me add, like jungle critters around a waterhole in Zimbabwaziland, Lamarckian hierarchy or sommat); driven back out among the other stones, I looked down at me boot to read "Jimmy Doolittle." Jeeez. Anyhow. Act of Valor ends up in Arlington, token we should know, of the consequences of American policy and American prosperity and American security, the guardians of which we follow through a series of adventures, vaguely related through their origin in the twisted conscience of a Rooshan (Baluchistani, Ukrainian... what's the difference?) arms czar (or tsar, if he really is Ukrainian).
The boys, SEAL Team (can't give away number on account of it's a secret), catch first the mission to rescue a compromised CIA operative (fee-male Médecins-sans-frontière type and I'm betting those guys not happy to see their outfit associated with CIA stoogitude). Cool multi-op where the SEALs HALO in to the AO on the QT, the operation goes south (as well as South), they lose a man (that is, they trade a rescuer for the rescuee), and get retrieved in a "hot extraction," as they announce (like we can't tell from the rounds flying: a word about automatic fire. A commando team only carry so much ammunition about each man's person. Burning it all up in first 12 seconds of a contact not always a prudent strategy. Howsomever, in defense of SEAL marksmanship, that short barreled M-4 does have a tendency to scatter rapid-fire in a fairly wide arc, so it is possible to fire, like, 3842 rounds and not hit doodle, as is the case here. Same for the narco-islamo-atomo-barbo-terrorists with their AKs, even worser on account of the AK a piece of stamped metal junk despite what you hear on teevee). The CIA fee-male, once snagged leads us to the kingpin of this whole mess (a plot to scatter ceramic ball-bearings (cool premise, whether plausible or not though I remember when Bruce Willis piously announced that the Glock was ceramic and therefore not detectable by airport scanners... yeah, right.) across the Western World starting with Superbowl XXXXVIII and through Mexico. To that end, we kidnap Sasha from his lair in Baluchistan, interrogate him (in what I take to be a corrective to all the torture talk) by means of deceptive affability and practicality (the barbarous narco-atomo-barbo-islamos use Black and Decker; Senior Master Chief Bob uses Winnie the Pooh). The Rooshan rolls over (it's pointed out that he's a Jew underwriting Islamists, but I dunno where that's supposed to take us) on Shabaz' operation to infiltrate the ceramics through Mexico, and we're off. Big gundown at the OK (Oqué) Tunnel with attendant consequences for that empty plot in Arlington.
Hey. Lotsa shooting. Real SEALs do that. Lotsa high-fiving and hey-bro-ing. Guess real SEALs do that. No sex. Couldn't find any real SEALs to tackle that one... urf! urf! Lousy Movie. Script is the main problem: wooden, mono-dimensional, clilché-sodden, devoid of character, though the ceramic ball-bearing thing seems novel. The SEALs do their best, but ironically, as members of a value-heavy culture (combat men, professionals), they seem incapable of the modest subterfuge even of pretending to be what they are. The nobility of SEALS (whatever idiot missions we may impose upon them and under the aegis of whatever idiot policy we may concoct) has never been in question that I know of. Why would anyone think the superficiality of a movie (especially a lousy one) was needed to affirm that? Recommendation from this 25-year veteran Special Forces operator: shadow-shrouded anonymity still the best posture for these guys... and oh, yeah... wait for video.