Film: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Pablo Schreiber, John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, David Denman, Max Martini, Dominic Fumusa
Review: 3½ bags
To this day, Congressional hearings regarding the attack on an American diplomatic compound and a CIA annex building on September 11 and 12 of 2013, in Benghazi, Libya have left us asking what ultimately happened during those 13 hours that left America mourning four of its own. Much speculation and political posturing has unfortunately clouded the events of that frightful drama that unfolded, but, at least now, we have a visual aid to help us experience the reality of the ordeal from beginning to end.
An adaptation of Mitchell Zuckoff’s book, officially described as follows: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack.
13 Hours is a solidly entertaining and compelling war movie. For some, it is meant to incite patriotic fervor; however, it succeeds in not playing the blame game. The film lays out the storyline of that harrowing day for our soldiers and focuses on the modern-day Alamo-like defense militants were forced to ensue. Packed with high-adrenaline, tension and excitement, the movie immerses the viewer in the experience. The only negative is that at times the audience is disoriented due to the shaky battle sequences and low visibility that were used for emphasis.
John Krasinski (Jack Silva) puts forth a surprisingly solid performance. Well-known as a great comedic actor, Krasinski steps into this role and shines as a dramatic action star. He is intense, pushes the limits and even comes close to making Jack a fully realized human being.
Director Michael Bay does a masterful job introducing the audience to these security forces and ex-military soldiers who put their lives on the line defending this dangerous outpost. He recounts a true story in a compelling action film that is well-choreographed and tense. As a director, Bay makes audiences hold their breath the entire time and helps one feel they are in the moment.
All in all, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is not a politically driven film. The real motivation of the movie is to recount what happened during those treacherous 13 hours and to bring honor to those who bravely fought and died to defend each other and America’s interests on foreign soil. Mission accomplished!