I haven't seen the film and wouldn't care to do so, but out of sheer curiosity I flicked through the reviews on IMDB. The review that I cut and pasted below is, I think, fairly typical of the responses to the film that were made by those who took the trouble to do so.
If you've ever wanted to know what Call of Duty: The Movie would be like then look no further than Act of Valor, the action packed war film featuring active duty Navy Seals as some of the main characters. It's the story of a team of Seals who go on a covert mission to rescue a kidnapped CIA agent from terrorists. It's an extremely patriotic love letter to the armed forces, a film that shows undying respect for these brave men and women, romanticizing their valiant efforts overseas. It feels more like a recruitment video than a film, and I think it might have been better off as one instead.
Act of Valor is a film that wants to be intense, super cool, and also profound. However, it's profundities are incredibly shallow and all of the observations the film makes on war are nothing new, and provide no new insight into war. But as far as intense and super cool goes, Act of Valor accomplishes that more than anything else. It's one giant firefight after another, exemplifying the blaze of glory that the Seals fight within. It's a finely polished and explosively grand picture of modern warfare.
But if you're looking for any kind of story, characters, or halfway decent dialogue then Act of Valor is not what you want. I said before that the film stars actual Navy Seals, so it should be expected that the acting will be dreadful... and it is. But I can easily forgive this. However, what I can't forgive is the paper thin story that is devoid of all substance, as well as the pathetically dry dialogue. The script is beyond awful with incredibly cheesy and lifeless dialogue and a terribly empty story that most certainly, perhaps even deliberately, takes a back seat to the visual spectacle aspect of Act of Valor.
All in all the story is practically non-existent here and the only thing this film has going for it is it's patriotism and firefights. But even the fighting gets a little tedious with it's overuse of the shaky cam and first person video game style camera work that gets overused to the point where it's almost gimmicky. I won't deny that Act of Valor is pretty cool and it certainly makes one proud to be an American, but I cannot say that it's a good film. It's a definite dud and there is little point in seeing this film, especially if you value story, characters, and dialogue.
Of course, you may find other reviews there or elsewhere that give it glowing praises. It's all opinion.
But perhaps the film wasn't intended to be entertainment. If it was, why use real special forces troops...? As a gimmick...? Hmmm.... haven't those soldiers got anything else better to do..? Still, at least it's better that they play at war for the cameras than do it for real I guess.
But I digress.
The plot, apparently, is wafer thin and poorly acted but what is not skimped on is the action.... the shooting.... the stuff that gives men a hard-on. Perhaps that's the real point of it..?
If the film isn't intended for "escapism type entertainment" what IS it intended for..? Recruitment..? Propaganda..? Justification...?
The reviewer asks that question. And it's a valid one.