‘13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,‘ a war film directed and produced by Michael Bay with Chuck Hogan on board as the writer. It is based on the book ‘13 Hours‘ by Mitchell Zuckoff, recounting September 11th, 2012 when a group of terrorists stormed America’s embassy in Benghazi, Lybia where security forces held the line.
Military veterans and members of the private security firm Global Response Staff are stationed in Benghazi in 2012. Tensions are rising in the city and dangers appear everywhere as the anniversary of 9/11 approaches. Tyrone S. “Rone” Woods (James Badge Dale) leads the team consisting of Jack Silva (John Krasinski), Mark “Oz” Geist (Max Martini), John “Tig” Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa), Kris “Tanto” Paronto (Pablo Schreiber), Dave “Boon” Benton (David Denman), and Glen “Bub” Doherty (Toby Stephens). On the night in question, CIA Field Chief “Bob” (David Costabile) calls for aid as a terrorist cell begins assaulting the compound where everyone is in danger.
Michael Bay is an interesting director. One day he is making movies for college frat boys and then he wakes up to make a movie about one of the most heroic last stands in modern history.
Some of the scenes prior to the attack do linger on a bit where I could not feel the danger that the personnel were in leading up to that fateful morning. I supposed they were trying to show you how blase everyone was about the situation, but it could have been made better. That does not take away from the actors. While I cannot say there was a stand-out, everyone did their part very well and I especially liked seeing John Krasinski in a more serious role.
There is no need to describe the politics as the movie avoids them altogether. I will say as a film, it tells its harrowing true story of how a group of United States paramilitary operators, CIA undercover agents, and civilian officers tried to save embassy personnel in Benghazi. How no help came. How the State Department, the President, and the White House Administration abandoned American citizens who were under siege. The plot takes all of these moments and brings them to fruition.
Where the real heroism lies is in the courageous team members who stood by and fought their best to save lives. They deserve all of the credit for their bravery and the film does a good job of showing it.
Bottom line, it is a shame that Michael Bay sometimes makes trashy action films, because 13 Hours is a brilliant movie. It avoids politics and instead tells the story of the heroes of Benghazi and how they were literally left behind. Bay could do well developing more flicks like these.
FAVORITE QUOTE: You can’t put a price on being able to live with yourself.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Strong violence
Check out the trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.