13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
An action-war thriller directed and produced by Michael Bay. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi tells the true story of six a secret team that fought to defend a diplomatic compound in Benghazi on September 11, 2012. It is based on the 2013 book 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff. Starring James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini, Dominic Fumusa, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman Toby Stephens, and Freddie Stroma. The film takes place on the eleventh anniversary of the September 11 attacks as a group of Islamic militants attack the American compounds and kill an American Ambassador.
From the moment the film gets going it is intense. And it truly never slows down. Filled with Bay-isms, 13 Hours and powerful and epic film. The explosions are big, the drama is gritty, and the soldiers are full blooded American heroes. This is the perfect vehicle for director Michael Bay to run with. The question however is what are we going to get? Will we get a raw gritty action blockbuster like The Rock? Or maybe we will be settled with a love story disguised as an action film like Pearl Harbor? Or dare I say are we getting another Transformers Age of Extinction? Well, I for one am happy to say while I don’t think this is a classic like The Rock, it is definitely more like it then the other two.
The positives of this film are while there are quite a few Bay-isims, they actually compliment this outing more than hurt it. The product placement of Budweiser, while noticeable, did not really detract from the film. The fire work explosions fit nicely and were used effectively. The slow motion shots of the sun, the flag, and the action were great. I really enjoyed the majority of the shots and cinematography of 13 Hours. I will say I was disappointed in the lack of hot girl bending of in slow motion Bay-ism. That one is my favorite
A side from Bay’s direction the cast was all very effective. I for one really enjoyed Pablo Schreiber as Kris “Tanto” Paranto. The film is filled with subtle one liners that really add to the tension. Bays signature humor is felt, and Schreiber had great delivery. Without a lot of back story, and very little time for character development, each actor made you know their character, and identify with each individual. Especially with James Badge Dale’s Rone. A character that could of come off as clichéd, but he gives a right amount of heart and gravitas to the role to make you understand him.
With a 144 minute run time the film is pretty long, but there are not a lot of down times, very little did I feel that the film was dragging or needed to a pass on the editing deck. That said, while it is called 13 Hours, there quite a bit of set up until we get to the 13 hour period. And in the middle when we start to gear up for it, the set up does move a little slow for my taste, but quickly gets back into the swing of things.
As I always say, as much I love the majority of films I see, no film is perfect. There are a few times within the earlier action scenes that Bay resorts to shaky cam. I hate when film makers do this, it is lazy. I know Bay can film action, so I don’t understand why he resorts to this. He does it all the time in the Transformer films and it is unnecessary. Also there is a character, played by French actress Alexia Barlier. I don’t know why she was in the film. The actress is fine, and I understand this was a true story, but most of her scenes seem rather pointless.
All in all, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a good film, and one to see. Not so much a film that you need to rush out to see, but never the less, one to see. Jump down in the comments and discuss. Have you seen 13 Hours? Are you excited for it? What is your favorite Michael Bay-ism? And remember, Keep on nerding!