Most viewers would associate military movies with loud firepower and literally explosive action scenes. While that is certainly true, it is also the tough, righteous characters and their sacrifices that make such stories memorable and more than just a compilation of multiple action sequences. ‘Act of Valor‘ is an all-out thrill ride with characters that viewers would find themselves empathizing with immediately. The film proved to be a profitable, box-office hit, raking in $81 million against a budget of $12 million. Apart from that, one of the songs used in the film was also nominated for a Golden Globe. The movie is led by actors Rorke Denver and Alex Veadov.
A CIA operative, Lisa Morales, who had been spying on a smuggler called Christo, gets abducted by Christo’s men. She gets brutally tortured. On the other hand, SEAL Team members, Lieutenant Rorke and Chief Dave, are spending some time with their family in Coronado. Rorke tells Dave that his wife is pregnant. Later, he calls his entire team and their families to spend some time before they have to go on their next mission.
Their next mission, it turns out, is to rescue Morales from Costa Rica. Using a coordinated and experienced team, an effective strategy, and some high-octane weapons and equipment, the team manages to rescue Morales. Christo and a terrorist named Shabal meet in Kiev to discuss a terrorist attack plan. They intend to send people wearing suicide vests, which cannot be detected by metal detectors to various cities in the United States.
The SEAL team launches various operations after finding out that Shabal and Christo are working together. Christo is captured from his boat in the ocean. Upon interrogation, Christo reveals the suicide bomb plan. Then, the SEAL team is deployed to Mexico, where they are joined by Mexican forces. Their mission is to stop the suicide bombers from entering the United States through a tunnel network under a milk factory. They find out that the milk factory is heavily guarded by drug cartels. During an intense showdown, one of the terrorists throws a grenade at the Navy SEALs. Rorke dives on the grenade to save the others and dies. However, Dave and the others manage to kill Shabal and his associates.
Back home, Rorke is given a military funeral. Dave’s voiceover (which is heard throughout the movie) is revealed to be the narration of a letter written by him to Rorke’s son. Then, a letter written by Rorke that he had given to Dave is narrated. This letter is given by Dave to Rorke’s family and is written for his newborn son. Rorke asks his son to live a life without the fear of death. “Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.” The movie ends with Rorke at the beach, holding a surfboard followed by a list of Naval Special Warfare warriors who have sacrificed their lives post 9/11. Various photos of public servants are shown along with the end credits.
The Ending, Explained:
‘Act of Valor’ ends on a rather emotional note. However, the ending ends up preaching a rather positive message despite that. The movie is a tribute to the courageous Naval Special Warfare officers who have lost their lives, fighting in the United States’ War on Terror. The character of Rorke is depicted as a symbol of all the sacrifices made by these officers.
The final scene of the movie involves him standing on a beach with his surfboard. This scene symbolizes the core message of Rorke’s and Dave’s letter: living a life without the fear of death. The scene highlights not only Rorke’s attitude towards life but also the message of the movie in general. It shows how a life without fear of the future is one that is wholesome. Rorke’s letter tells his son that those who live life fearing death often end up having tons of regrets on their deathbed.
Moving on, along with the ending credits, several photos of public servants are depicted. This further reinstates the movie’s tribute to those who fight for their country. It reinstills Rorke’s sacrifice: a sacrifice where he did not fear his own death, in order to save the lives of his comrades. However, the end credits also symbolize how Rorke’s sacrifice was just a means to highlight the multiple sacrifices that public servants have made over the years and will continue to make.
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