In Hollywood, it's a normal thing to train actors in the fields of battle techniques and the correct use of arms when they are playing a role in a war movie. Since some of the trainers are former military officers who now found a new job, Hollywood continues to stash the realism in this genre. For Act of Valor they did the complete opposite: the actors are real Navy Seals who then had some acting lessons. The actor's skills are okay and fit to the dialogue which - outside the battle scenes - are quite short and simple. It becomes clear that all that counts in this movie is the action which there's plenty of it. All in all, the action is diversified and realistic.
When watching the movie you will definitively notice that it was meant to be a recruitment drive for the US army. Thus, the movie is not really critical of military actions. Especially the "philosophical" off-screen comments from one of the Navy Seals will find little enthusiasm outside the USA. Same goes for the flag of one of the other Seal's grandfather, who died during WWII.
The producers must have been aware of this, since some of thee footage was either cut out or re-dubbed for international markets which mitigates the movie's message. Sometimes you even have the exact same dialogue happening during an entirely different shot. During this report, both versions are confronted with each other. In some cases, there are only minor differences (e.g. "has" instead of "had"). These small changes won't be listed.
The scenes of Rourke's grandfather's flag were shortened and sometimes replaced with alternative sequences. Also, the title cards ahead of the credits are different.
For this comparison we compared the US Blu-Ray to the UK DVD.
Overall, the international version has 5 altered scenes and thus is 55 seconds shorter.
0:43 | 0:41
When the soldiers write letters, the shots are slightly different, while Dave's off-screen comment is very different.
No difference in time.
After the explosion in Manila - during which a lot of children died - Dave makes another off-screen comment:
In Costa Rica:
Dave and Rorke are surfing.
The team at the beach.
14:16 | 13:40
Rorke packs his grandfather's flag - who died during WWII - in his bag.
US + 7s
62:03 | 59:23
In the US Version Rorke asks Dave how he could get such a badge from Dave's family and what he has to do for it. When he is in return asked what he has in his bag, Rorke shows Dave his grandfather's flag.
In the international verison they instead talk about Rorke's chance of maybe working a desk job in the White House. Far away from the battlefield. Or maybe they decide to carry around the briefcase which includes the codes to launch nuclear missiles.
US: 45.5s | INT: 38s
Dave's off-screen comment during the funeral was altered. It's also a little longer and can still be heard while the scene changes.
97:32 | 93:19
Rorke's superior gives the woman a new flag in the name of the president in order to honor her husband's honorable death. Then he also gives her the old flag of the man's grandfather which he used to carry around all the time.
US: 42.5s | INT: 5s
100:50 | 95:93
The title cards at the end of the movie are different. Additionally, there's a zoomed shot in the US Version.
This film is dedicated to the following warriors of Naval Special Warfare who have made the ultimate sacrifice since 9/11.
[List of names.]
And to all the warriors heading downrange in the future ...
This film is dedicated to all of the men and women who have sacrificed for their countries as guardians of freedom against forces of terror and tyranny.
And to all of those who will be called upon in the future ...
No difference in time.