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FILM FANS: 'Act of Valor' sparks patriotism with active Navy SEALs

EDITOR'S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: "Act of Valor." Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

2 out of 4 stars

This movie is a documentary style film depicting real-life accounts of super heroism from a group of specialized Navy SEALs. Their missions are highlighted with sheer intelligence, planning and cunning execution. They perform secret acts to eliminate terrorism and felonies from around the world. Their ability to survive is remarkable considering the high levels of risk that surrounds every encounter.

This work is unique in that it represents an informational account of real-life "on the edge" events, thus the theatrical value is very limited. The actors are not trained professionals, so the overall quality is not there. However, the behind-the-scenes look at how rescues are planned and carried out is very interesting indeed. Most Americans could never dream of what goes on around the world to ensure their freedom and safety. This work shows firsthand what it takes and the enormous human sacrifice paid to guarantee the lifestyles we all enjoy.

-- Rick Wright, Auburn

3 out of 4 stars

I liked the idea that real Navy SEALs were in this movie and I was looking forward to seeing it. I knew it could be a little intense and somewhat gory but thought it'd be important to go and see and remember the acts of bravery that courageous men make for us and our country as they encounter danger up close and personal and make ultimate sacrifices.

The movie itself was pretty good (but not for the faint of heart; think torture, etc.). It had definite action and suspense and did a good job of bringing you into the scenes. I would have liked to have seen a little more character development, though, and maybe a stronger story.

-- Cindy Evans, Duluth

3 out of 4 stars

Made mostly with a cast of active-duty Navy SEALs, "Act of Valor" brings spins a uniquely-crafted tale of real-life bravery, state-of-the-art technology, and heart-pounding cinematography to the big screen. Using only a couple of recognizable "name" actors (veteran TV and movie actors Roselyn Sanchez and Nestor Serrano, as undercover CIA agents in Costa Rica), the film follows Navy Seal Team 7 as it hopscotches the world to break up a complex terrorist plot against the U.S. homeland.

"Act of Valor" contains graphic violence (duh) and pretty salty language (duh again), yet none is gratuitous or cartoonish. This is the real deal, including the story-behind-the-story of the Seal families and the struggles they endure when these brave warriors leave on a mission, knowing that each deployment brings the possibility that their husband -- or daddy -- won't return alive.

Some might say that this kind of story was already told (and pretty well) in the CBS TV series "The Unit" from just a few years ago. I say that this film is "The Unit" on steroids. Hang on to your hats; this is quite a ride.

Three stars and a big "HOO-RAH."

-- Tim Weekley, Suwanee