Act of Valor *
21 March 2012
When I first saw the trailer for Act of Valor, I felt an unpleasant churning in my stomach and the strong suspicion that it would turn out to be nothing more than an overtly pro-American propaganda film. I hope I stifled the urge to yell “Hell, no!” but fear I may have merely suppressed it to a whisper.
I held to that impression and had no desire to inflict such mental and moral flagellation on myself until Bag, my dear, deluded friend who thinks his name is really Mark, convinced me that, from what he’d heard (alas, not seen) it would be a stunning film using ‘real’ soldiers rather than Hollywood actors and that I should give it a go.
I felt regret. And anger. No, rage!
There were one or two positives, some convincing cinematography and the occasional musical accompaniment that suited the mood, but there was far more to disturb my moral compass than entertain or educate. Are we really supposed to feel sorry for these vicious men and women in fatigues who choose, that is, are not coerced or conscripted, to make a career of killing and being in a position of being killed? Are we really supposed to sympathize when one amongst their number is injured or, heaven forbid, dies messily but punch the air in celebration with every explosion, rattle of machinegun fire and felling of another civilian (or other non-American human)? It’s sickening. Horrifying. Horrible.
That the non-actors are completely without acting talent and the script is a proclamation-by-numbers turkey is almost irrelevant when faced with the horror that some free-thinking American filmmakers have swallowed all the propaganda and are perpetuating it under the banner of honest-to-God patriotism.
It doesn’t deserve a review, it deserves to be buried.
Act of Valor’s production team appears to have watched Parker and Stone’s Team America: World Police and taken it seriously.
Unfortunately for them, this is not a case of emerging from the cinema and echoing America, Fuck Yeah. It’s more a case of America: Fuck off!
Another film review from The Squiss.