Hollywood insiders claim you can’t make a movie about American troops in which you portray them as heroic figures unburdened by some sort of social ill.
Well, Act of Valor just blasted that meme all to hell. It grossed close to $25 million on this it’s opening weekend. I was curious to see how that would rank against all of the anti-war, paint the GI’s as social misfits stream of movies that Hollywood has deemed to grace us with. I was pleasantly surprised. Now don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize some of the movies on this list, judging by the numbers not too many people bothered to go see them.
Green Zone – Budget $100,000,000 Opening Weekend $14 million
Body of Lies – Budget $70,000,000 Opening Weekend $12 million
Lions for Lambs – Budget $35,000,000 Opening Weekend $6 million
In the Valley of Elah – Budget UNK Opening Weekend $133,000
Rendition – Budget $27,500,000 Opening Weekend $4 million
For comparison, Act of Valor cost $12 million to make.
Of all the reviews that came out ahead of the movie, most of which in general panned the movie for not being some sort of Lifetime channel feature full of angst and troubled characters, this is my favorite from a USA Today writer:
Employing Navy troops as stars is a clever idea for an action thriller. But the soldiers’ awkward line readings are glaring enough to distract from the potency of the story.
It isn’t because she panned the acting but for her inability to distinguish the differences between the services. Something those who have served take great pride in. Let me help her out. Marines are gonna be pissed, though, you see ‘Navy troops’ are Marines. Technically. Soldiers are members of the Army. SEAL’s are members of the Special Forces community from the Navy and Green Berets are part of the Special Forces community from the Army.
Soldiers are not sailors, and not even I would dare to call Marines ‘Navy troops’. Marines are a part of the Navy and can therefore be SEAL’s. Soldiers cannot be SEAL’s but they can be Green Berets or Delta.
UPDATE: In which I eat a little crow. Hey I was Army. Apparently Marines can not go through SEAL training unless they officially switch services to the Navy. The Marines have their own component within the Special Forces community and never the twain shall meet. My apologies to any Marines/Navy folks that I may have inadvertently offended. Thanks to the commentators who keep me honest.