The film’s unwillingness to focus on its characters’ individual characteristics also means Act of Valor is not about the team members’ faith or lack of it. If anything, the film is about steering clear of any discussion of issues of eternal consequence. These are men focused on their calling in this world at the expense of everything else. In a voiceover, we hear one recite what’s important to the SEALs: “Put your pain in a box. Lock it down. No man is stronger than one who can harness his emotions.” He recites Shawnee Chief Tecumseh: “Trouble no man about his religion.”

None of this thinking is scriptural. Viewers will have to decide if the film’s idea of what’s important, not to mention its harsh language and vivid footage of war violence, makes it unsuitable for Christian audiences, or if the men’s narrow focus on their missions can be seen as compatible with the Bible’s teaching on service and sacrifice. It’s to the film’s credit that, given its powerful impact, it provokes such questions.

CAUTIONS:

  • Language/Profanity: Lord’s name taken in vain; several “f” words; multiple uses of foul language; “give ’em hell.”
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: A character mentions he doesn’t like chain smoking.
  • Sex/Nudity: A man says he can’t believe he once tried to bed certain women; women sunbathe in bikinis; they serve drinks, which we see consumed.
  • Violence/Crime: War footage includes gunfire, explosions; woman stabbed, rolled in a carpet, tortured, punched and wounded with a drill; bullets to the head at point-blank range several times, often with blood splattered on walls, floors, etc.; suicide vests are shown, with technology behind them discussed; heroes and villains are wounded and killed during raids; drug-running operation is tied to terrorists.
  • Religion/Morals: Villains are Muslim, although one has a Jewish heritage; men shown praying toward Mecca; a man says that if something bad happens with explosives, everyone will go to heaven; a Muslim tells a woman that when she detonates her suicide vest, she’ll meet her husband in heaven; Tecumseh quoted by one of the soldiers as stating, “Trouble no man about his religion.”
     

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@hotmail.com.