“Act of Valor” was originally intended to be a propaganda film, then it turned into a documentary, then it turned into a fictional narrative(?) featuring REAL LIVE ACTIVE DUTY NAVY SEALS YEE-HAW. And like jungle dwelling hump-spiders, I had no idea which parts were supposed to be enjoyable. My only wish was to see swift decapitation.
For a film that uses so many “authenticities,” it was startlingly out of touch with reality. It also had a starling lack of actual seals, but we’ll get into that in a minute. Just like horny spiders, “Valor” focuses almost exclusively on the action. Sure, there’s a brief moment of foreplay — standing around a bonfire, stroking egos and comparing cephalothoraxes — but as soon as it’s out of the way, everything is full throttle, face straddling, blood pumping, head shooting, eye patching, rocket launching spider sex. Never is there an attempt at intimacy beyond a poorly read and on-the-nose poem by Tecumseh, an historical Native American figure. And everyone knows spiders are infamous for their abuse of Native Americans.
The Native Americans are respectable people.
The action would have been acceptable (and the acting forgivable) if it was realistic, at least. Just like raunchy arachnids, you could tell they were faking it. I would have more easily accepted the battle scenes if they were performed by actual seals. How do I know if it’s legitimate pinniped combat? Maybe they can stop rockets with their sternums like Lt. Whatever? How should I know?! I’m not a seal trainer! I don’t work at Sea World!! GET OFF MY BACK, BRO.
Saying this movie is realistic is like saying Call of Duty is realistic. In fact, this movie looks eerily similar to Call of Duty sometimes. They may load the guns properly, use the correct jargon, and capture all the flags, but at the end of the day, it’s still just a couple of disingenuous spiders lethargically grinding their spinnerets amid the humid indifference of a dense rainforest.