Act of Valor should be labeled more as an experience than it should be touted as a wholly successful cinematic outing. There is a certain novelty to seeing real-live active Navy SEALs starring in an action vehicle rather than your stock Hollywood muscle-head, but when all is said and done, glossy gimmick is really the highest level the film achieves.
More than once, it becomes glaringly apparent that Act of Valor was birthed from a recruitment video both in terms of plotting and in presentation. The first act, which sends our SEALs on a mission to rescue an imprisoned C.I.A. agent (Roselyn Sanchez) from South American terrorists, feels as if stretched from a much shorter idea, and even then, directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh realized their movie was only 40 minutes long. From there, they loosely (and I mean very loosely) added the secondary task of stopping bombers (of course intent on causing global chaos) from crossing the Mexican boarder into the United States. The plot is a mess, but who’s really expecting to be surprised with William Faulkner when all they’re promising is Nicolas Sparks.