Last night I went with a group of guys to go see the movie Act of Valor. This is a movie that is well worth going to see and in particular it is worth going to see in the theater. in the big picture there have been so many movies coming out lately that essentially put the military on trial by putting them in a really bad light. This movie might have gone too far in the other direction by simply ignoring the complexities of war and showing a movie about warriors doing what warriors do best in protection of those they love.

Beyond the big picture this was a story that wasn't really about war or terrorism, it was about Men. You come away realizing how much we in our peaceful and gentle lives are oblivious to the fact that we can live so peacefully and unafraid because there are some men who are not violent men but men exercised in the art of violence. Men who are willing to again and again put themselves in harm’s way to do a job that nobody wants to do but a job that has to be done and therefore someone has to do it. Men who have dedicated and endangered their lives in order to do this ugly and disgusting work so that we don't have to worry about it. This movie is about the men and their families who have undertaken this work.

I can guarantee that the reviews of this movie will be excessively negative and excessively positive, go ahead and put mine in the excessively positive camp. This is a movie that I want my sons to see.

Couple of notes about the movie, the storyline is really weak, don’t go looking for a really intricate storyline with twists and turns and surprises, it is simply about the men and the work that they do. One of the significant points about this movie is that most of the main actors were real active duty seals, their dialog was wooden, and the drama that they brought wasn’t faked. These weren’t Hollywood actors who wisecracked their way through fight scenes trying to add drama through their expressions. These guys were amateurs who were amazingly believable and real. But when the bullets started flying was when this movie shone, It was so fantastic and yet so believable and realistic. There weren’t any big flourishing movements meant to get you to say “wow”. These men didn’t need to “act” as the action commenced. As the violence unfolded in each sequence I found myself thrilled by the soundness of the tactics – door entries, room clearances, breaches, shot prosecution – all artfully unfolding on the screen as a tactical ballet of elegant violence. It’s what you would expect from real live gunfight, but never get to see.

This isn’t a date night movie but it is a movie that men should see and should take their older sons to see.

We need to be thankful for these MEN who are not inherently violent but who stand ready to exercise violence in our defense.
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