Are There A Dozen Headshots Too Many in This Redband Video from Act of Valor?

By many accounts -- okay, mostly just the filmmakers' -- this week's commando pic Act of Valor marks a new kind of filmmaking on account of it's a Navy SEALS actioner starring real active duty soldiers that takes the viewer along on a near-firsthand experience of what it's like to fight terrorists and baddies. From the looks of the film's new redband featurette this means audiences will get to see what it looks and sounds like to drop dome shots left and right in the heat of battle, because nothing says "valor" better than shooting strangers in the head with automatic weapons.

I'm sure there's a fair amount of weightiness and responsibility within Act of Valor, since the filmmakers do seem to have a genuine respect for the members of the armed forces who risk their lives to serve and protect. But a clip like this -- which debuted on gamer-leaning IGN, where it could easily get lost within a gaggle of first person shooter promos -- doesn't do much besides glorifying the awesomeness of battle, as seen partially through helmet-mounted cameras.

I count no fewer than eleven, maybe 12 exploding head shots in the span of this two-minute video, but what makes this even freakier is the fact that the majority of the cast is culled from active duty Navy SEALS who may have had similar skirmishes in the field. Watching people who have been trained to kill pretend to kill people who may resemble people they've actually killed in real life is a tricky thing to digest. It's one thing to witness the brutality and heroism of actual military life via the movies (see: Restrepo); it's another to embrace the glossy, redband-worthy violence as pure entertainment.

But maybe you disagree? Check out the clip below and leave your thoughts in the comments.


  • Jake says:

    I don't know why, but I really hope this movie gets terrible reviews and disappears. I can't take the propaganda. It looks like it's got all the objectivity of a Michael Moore film.

  • Max Renn says:

    It's like Top Gun all over again. Without the beach volleyball game.

  • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

    Re: "because nothing says 'valor' better than shooting strangers in the head with automatic weapons."

    How about if they're shooting "friends." There's nothing about these guys that suggests they'd recoil any if some of the angry, protesting 99 % ers become enemies of state. Grandma hippie -- head shot!!! Despoiled street person -- head shot!!! Spoiled, lazy university student -- head shot!!! Please someone make that film as a spoof.
    Show what they're actually shooting (people), and then what they think they're seeing (vermin).

  • FlightPlan says:

    Stupid Navy SEALS making a propaganda movie! Why can't they just sit back and watch the other great movies about the war against Islamofacism? You know, awesome movies like "In the Valley of Elah", "Rendition", and "Lions for Lambs". You know those weren't propaganda from the Hollywood hate-America left like those right-wing nutbags say. They were well thought-out, sensible responses that tapped into America's distrust of the military that keeps us safe every day from the resentful 6th century cultures that would love to annihilate us, which is why they were such blockbusters at the box office, amiright?

    • Patrick Hallstein / McEvoy-Halston says:

      God damn I wish it were the old days when the left would just lampoon the military; MASH, Catch-22, and all that exhilirating irreverance. But I'm afraid the pacifist instinct has left us and we're near just as much for the military arm as you are ... Only you still won't like us, though, for we'll co-opt it, make sure we distinguish it from the homophobic, war-first neanderthals we'll make sure we imagine you all to be, not just or primarily to piss you off but rather to convince ourselves that while bombing civilians to bits we're somehow remaining true to form.