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Jacqueline Monahan's Movie Reviews

Act of Valor | Roselyn Sanchez, Jason Cottle, Alex Veadov | Review

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  4_Chicks_Small Jacqueline Monahan

Jacqueline  Monahan

Las Vegas Round The Clock
Jacqueline Monahan is an educator for the GEAR UP program at UNLV.
She is also an entertainment reporter for
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Act of Valor | Roselyn Sanchez, Jason Cottle, Alex Veadov | Review

The title is an oh-so-accurate phrase for a film about Navy SEALs and starring Navy SEALs.  These are the guys that don’t so much as blink in the face of parachute drops, underwater ops, raids, explosions, and all manner of death defying rescue missions.

No wonder they are the most elite, deadly, and results-oriented combat team on the planet.

The film follows the SEALs around the world for a variety of dangerous, life-risking assignments.  On air, land, and water, the SEALs prove that they are the unflinching best, the bravest, the most level headed and dedicated group of reliable human weapons that the U.S. has to offer, perhaps even the best in the world.
Coronado-based Navy Seal Team 7 is sent into the Philippines to rescue a kidnapped CIA operative (Roselyn Sanchez) who has been captured by a terrorist cell.  Subsequently, the Seals discover a plot that will culminate in an international terror plot to smuggle ingenious ball bearing–filled bombs into the U.S. and detonate them in public places.
Not on the SEALs’ watch, thank you very much.
The team embarks on a mission to find the group’s leaders Christo (Alex Veadov) and Abu Shabal (Jason Cottle) both of whom represent threats to U.S. security through drug trafficking and Islamic terrorism.

Co-directors Mike McCoy (Dust to Glory) and Scott Waugh (XXX) get the audience as close as they can into the world of the SEALs in this Navy-sanctioned project, shot in Cambodia, San Diego, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Ukraine, Florida, the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, and actual Navy training sites.

With a script by Kurt Johnstad (300) and SEALs on board as advisors, McCoy and Waugh were able to film live gun fire, helmet cams for POV shots and multiple cameras and angles to transport the viewer almost inside the skin of these men, where the adrenalin is almost as prevalent as the gunfire.

While the SEALs fight like the highly-trained, precision team that they are – making the action sequences uber-realistic – the flipside is that they are not nearly as adept as actors.  Attempts at dialogue produce stiff line readings and we never get to know the men’s backstories.

The film makes the case that the mere fact that they are SEALs should be all we need to know, and their actions speak much louder than their sometimes clumsy words.  That is what is on their resume instead of summer stock in the Poconos.  That is what will save lives when the bad guys come knocking (with explosives) at a crowded mall.

These are, after all, the guys that captured and killed bin Laden, and rescued two aid workers held captive by Somali pirates.   We’ll excuse them for not projecting their voices.

A thank you would be more appropriate.

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