All of the top talent involved – especially Gene Hackman – is hardly needed to make Uncommon Valor what it is, a very common action picture.
Hackman does as much as he can as a grieving father obsessed with the idea that his son remains a prisoner 10 years after he was reported missing-in-action in Vietnam. Financed by oil tycoon Robert Stack, whose son is also missing, Hackman puts together his small invasion force and two-thirds of Valor is consumed introducing the characters and putting them through various practice drills for the rescue which will predictably be tougher than they planned on.
True to a long tradition of war films, by the time the tough really get going it’s only a question of who won’t come back from the dangerous mission. But at least each of the main characters in Valor does his best to make you care whether it’s him.