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May 29, 2017

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Emotionless 'Act of Valor' (海豹神兵:英勇行動)

It was only a matter of time before the popularity of reality TV would lead to reality movies. This scary new genre is not the same as a documentary, which looks at real people doing real things to tell a story. Reality movies take real people and put them in a fictional story, such as in the new war drama "Act of Valor."

The film stars real Navy SEALs, who during a rescue mission stumble upon a serious plan for terrorist attacks on American soil.

Directors Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh explain before the film that the only way to show the real emotions of soldiers going off to war was to have those roles portrayed by actual members of the military. The soldiers also give the best representation of what real warfare is like. That's why they used such unorthodox casting.

Neither of those assertions hold water.

In "Act of Valor," there's not an ounce of emotion when the SEALs deliver their dialogue, which drains all life out of what should be very powerful scenes. Had this movie been shot as a documentary, they would have said their own words. The eight real SEALs who star -- but are never named because they still get deployed -- are so uncomfortable trying to recite the written dialogue that this may be the only time these elite fighters have ever broken a sweat.

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