Dir. Mike McCoy, Scott Waugh
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Welcome to CALL OF DUTY the movie (unofficial)… In order to make this review easier to understand for COD players who have tuned in - there are helpful notes in caps throughout.
Somewhere (let’s say the Philippines), a suicide bomber kills the American ambassador and his son, along with other children – he used a vehicle-born-improvised-explosive-device hidden in an ice cream van…
THIS IS A BAD ACT BY A BAD PERSON.
The attack was masterminded by a Muslim Chechen terrorist by the name of Abu Shabal –
HE IS A BAD MAN.
Unfortunately he is not the only bad man around – just watch as two CIA Agents, - the disposable Walter Ross (Nestor Serrano) and the lovely so definitely not disposable Lisa Morales (Roselyn Sánchez) are attacked by thugs sent by a dodgy geezer named ‘Christo’ who is friends with Abu. Christo orders Morales to be tortured but kept alive until she gives up all her intel on him.
TORTURING CUTE CIA AGENTS IS BAD.
Meanwhile in California, the members of Bandito Platoon, SEAL Team Seven are at home. Lieutenant Rorke and Chief Dave, go out for drinks, where Rorke confides to the Chief that his wife is pregnant. Dave congratulates him and the sailors go to the beach with their families to celebrate. Later that night, the platoon gathers at the Coronado docks to have a last get-together before they deploy the next day. The following day, the SEALs board their plane and deploy, after which Rorke's wife breaks down crying.
SHE IS CRYING BECAUSE HER HUSBAND IS SO BRAVE – AS ARE ALL U.S. SEALS!
"HALO jump dude!"
The Navy SEALs insert into the jungle via a HALO jump to rescue Morales. They bring the pain to the bad terrorist types who are holding the CIA babe – the body count rises quickly as the SEALS snipe, blast and blow up every last mother freakin one of the bad guys, racking up lots of XP due the number of headshots and kill streaks they deliver. The firefights look absolutely amazing as these are REAL NAVY SEALS USING REAL TRACER AMMO!
CHEER FOR THE BRAVE NAVY SEALS WHO HAVE SAVED THE CUTE CIA HOSTAGE!
FEEL BAD FOR THE ONE SEAL WHO GOT SHOT IN THE HEAD BUT WHO IS SO HARD THAT HE MAKES IT THROUGH ANYWAY!!
Christo and Shabal meet in Ukraine and explain their dastardly plot to attack the USA with suicide bombers wearing state of the art plastic explosive / ceramic ball bearing bomb vests.
THIS JIHAD BY THE BAD MEN MUST BE STOPPED AT ALL COSTS – SEND IN THE NAVY SEALS!
"US Navy subs, always happy to help"
Christos is captured on his luxury yacht – he didn’t stand a chance against the brave NAVY SEALS who execute every last mother freakin one of his bodyguards and then make him tell them his plans…
CHALK UP ANOTHER WIN FOR THE BRAVE SEALS BUT NOW THE BAD GUYS’ PLAN IS KNOWN – WHO WILL SAVE THE USA?
"NAVY SEAL Poster Boys"
The SEALS have tracked the suicide bombers and join up with some expendable Mexican officers to storm a baddie camp at night. It looks amazing as the brave US troops execute every last mother freakin one of the terrorist types using helicopters, heavy calibre weaponry and sheer godamn American bravery and they find one of the bomb jackets.
CHEER FOR ANOTHER OVERWHELMING VICTORY FOR THE SEALS – THIS IS SHOCK AND AWE IN ACTION AND BOY IT LOOKS GOOD.
Final Level – including boss fight:
This is it – the desperate fight to stop the suicide bombers getting into the USA via a handy tunnel in Mexico. The SEALs deploy and are told that this will be a bigger fight than they thought as the tunnel is in an area guarded by heavily armed drug cartels.
THE NAVY SEALS LAUGH IN THE FACE OF BEING HOPELESSLY OUTNUMBERED BY HEAVILY ARMED DRUG CARTELS.
The assault on the tunnel network is the climax of the film – this is where we get to witness more than one Act of Valor – gasp as the Mexican officers get taken out but gasp harder when the SEALS are nearly killed by a suicide bomber who is told to guard a door. When she (the bomber) looks unsure Abu tells her it will be OK because she will get a husband in heaven. She blows herself up and nearly kills the SEALS. The peril ramps up when one of the SEALS has to make the ultimate sacrifice by throwing himself on a grenade (we won’t say who as to not spoil it)… Spurred on by the loss of his pal, true hero SEAL ‘Dave’ corners Shabal but is hit by multiple rounds from the baddie’s AK-47. With his last breath, Dave draws his sidearm… who will win?
IS THIS THE END FOR THE RIGHTEOUS USA?
If you’re a fan of obsessively shooting things for fun, e.g. you play CALL OF DUTY 24/7 or are the type to religiously download and complete the daily terrorist killing mission on UNIT 13 (which is a kind of CALL OF DUTY – portable) then Act of Valor might be the best film you’ve ever seen…
Those who think about things like the moral dilemmas of having a multi religious society or indeed the wider geopolitical balance between the Islamic states and the West will not enjoy Act of Valor. This is simplistic pain by numbers (for the bad guys) – the NAVY SEALS are good honest family men each and every one. These guys make love to their lovely wives, play with their cute kids and then execute with extreme prejudice any human being designated as a target.
Co-directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh make the action scenes throb and buzz with dazzling high definition muzzle flashes, unnervingly well tooled up NAVY SEAL military hardware shot through a ‘fetishtical’ (word made up by my wife) lens. If ever a propaganda film carried the message to the enemies of the US – ‘don’t mess with us because we’ll come and eliminate every last one of you’ Act of Valor is that film.
It also ends with a moving dedication – not just to those who have given their lives in the line of NAVY SEAL duty but slightly more worryingly ‘to all those yet to sign up’ too…
I guess there are those already looking forward to the sequel which will possibly be entitled “Die terrorist scum, die!”
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
öö (if a massive gun fan then add an extra ööö)
2 (or 5) – This is no game (it's the real COD!)
Awesomeness öööö – heavy duty fire fights a go go!
Laughs öö – unintentional bad acting
Horror ööö – some nasty torture by the baddies
Babes öö – wholesome wives aloud
Spiritual Enlightenment öö – sign up (sign over your soul)