I wanted to like this movie, I really did. Any film that cites all the Navy SEALS who died on active duty since 9/11/2001, can't go entirely wrong.
But the storyline is pretty under-dramatized, Navy SEALS in hot pursuit of a Russian Smuggler and his Jihadist buddy who are armed with scary detection proof suicide bomber vests...the acting is underwhelming.
And besides, at one point Our Heroes penetrate a Mexican shantytown harboring terrorists and never once is a civilian ever accidentally shot...I mean Welcome to Hollywood guys.
In short script wise, it was pure Stallone sans the glitzy pyrotechnics.
On the other hand, I liked the naturalistic settings, the judicious use of real SEAL veterans, the authentic hardware (anything the Pentagon clears for use in a movie has to be obsolete compared to what is used on deployment right now)and the relative realism of the climax.
I think though, that maybe they might have done better with a sort of neorealism experiment like the Italians tried during WWII (See "Men Under the Sea" (1940) currently out on DVD under the title "SOS Submarine" for proof. The film has NO professional actors in it!) or else some sort of "Mondo Special Forces" exploitation flick.
Hell imagine what Orson Welles in full "F For Fake" mode could have done with some serious Navy SEALs found footage?
Now some might dismiss "Act of Valor" as a naval recruitment film. That is pretty much what it is, but then again, these are all volunteer forces we have and no one compels anyone to Join the SEALs.
Now if we could only "force" someone to make a new and different movie about Navy SEALs....