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Review: Act of Valor

The Navy SEALs' killing of Bin Laden, in film form
By PETER KEOUGH  |  February 28, 2012
1.5 1.5 Stars



New York congressman John King is investigating alleged collusion between the CIA and those involved in Kathryn Bigelow's film about the Navy SEALs' killing of Bin Laden, pressuring the studio into holding up the release until after the Presidential election to avoid charges of partisanship. But so far no complaints about Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh's SEALS film, which involved unprecedented access to military assets, including SEAL members playing themselves. But who'd question a film extolling those who risk their lives to keep us safe? Maybe fans of good movies. Despite the authentic cast, tactics, and materiel, Valor wallows in cliché. Worse, the filmmakers shoot and edit with such incoherence that the action will frustrate even fans of the video games they emulate. Sometimes authenticity perseveres, as in an interrogation scene where a SEAL breaks down a suspect not with waterboarding, but by an appeal to a universal value: family.

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