A Late Entry into Man-Movie List

Fenster writes:

A suggestion for Fabrizio’s Man-Movie List: Act of Valor.

That’s the 2012 film that used active duty Navy Seals to portray active duty Navy Seals.  It was panned by critics but well-liked by audiences.  I liked it.

It took a little getting used to.  The Seals are not really actors but soldiers conscripted to the job.  There’s some truth to the charge in the USA Today review that “the soldiers’ awkward line readings are glaring enough to distract from the potency of the story.”  Roger that.

But there is another side to how the amateurism gets played out.  The Seals in the film are modest, dutiful and respectful of both authority and their obligations to others (including wives and kids).  Cartoon-style action heroes they ain’t.  If anything, they appear to be throwbacks to an earlier era of understatement.

The dialogue doesn’t have the trademarked tough guy banter required of modern action stars.  But there is a kind of poetry to it.

Hey, Chief!
We’re not gonna make secondary extract!
– You’re gonna have to figure it out, man!
– Hold on!
Come on. Stay with me.
Stay with me.
Stay with us.
Come on, Mike. Wake up.
Wake up. Come on, man.
– Contact!
– Pick it up, pick it up.
Yo, Chief!
We can make it to rally point!
– Sounds good! Pass it to LT!
– Come on, man.
LT, LT, this is assault team.
We just lost the secondary extract.
I say again, we just lost
secondary extract.
Moving to rally point.
How copy, over?
– We’re about a click out.
– Mikey, wake up.
One click out!
Let’s go, Mike.
Wake up. Come on, buddy.
Come on, Mikey! Wake up!
– Good?
– Backstage clear.
Rocket out!
He’s not breathing!
– Breathe, Mikey!
– We’re up! We’re up!
Chief, let me get your M-4!
Sir, what’s the status
on those boats?
I lost Whiplash on the run.
Told ’em you hit the target early.
They’re coming in hot.
– Roger that.
– Fuck! Take this, man.
Breathe, Mikey. Come on, Mikey.
– I got no pulse.
– Contact rear!
Contact rear!
Holy shit!
Taking rounds in…
Pick it up. Pick it up.
Ajay! QRF coming up the rear!
Whiplash! Whiplash!
Secondary extract is burnt.
Moving to tertiary extract.
I have eight packs,
seven Sierras, one package.
Package
with multiple wounds.
The Sierra has gunshot wound
to the head.
This will be a hot extract.
What the fuck?!
– Oh, shit!
– Mikey, stay down!
– Keep him down, man!
– Where the fuck am I?!
– Calm down, brother.
– Mikey’s up, man. Mikey’s up.
Stay down, brother. Calm.
Be easy. We’re almost out of here.
We’re almost out of here.
Mikey!
– Hang on, buddy.
– Where are we?
– We’re on our way to extract.
– What happened?
You’re good to go.
You took one to the face, man.
You’re a hard motherfucker.
– Did we get her?
– Yes.
– Oh, my God.
– We’re on our way to extract.
Ajay, splash it. Splash it.
Water! Water! Water!
Going in! Going in!
I got her! I got her!
It’s fucking going under.
Out! Get the fuck out!

About Fenster

Gainfully employed for thirty years, including as one of those high paid college administrators faculty complain about. Earned Ph.D. late in life and converted to the faculty side. Those damn administrators are ruining everything.
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