13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a motion picture telling of the attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. This movie is directed by Michael Bay (Transformers, Bad Boys, ) so take what you see with a grain of salt because everything that man touches gets the “bigger and larger” treatment. I understand the political side of what happened in Libya that day, and I know it plays a factor in a story like this, but this review is about the movie itself and how it holds up to other movies like it.
The story in 13 Hours is pretty straight forward. There are 2 compounds near one another and when 1 compound is attacked with a US ambassador inside, 6 soldiers from the nearby compound go against orders to go to their aid only to become targets of the next attack. In normal Michael Bay fashion, the action is present and the story drags on way too long for what it needs to be. The first 30-45 minutes of the movie is mainly talking as the characters are developed and it simply isn’t gripping. I was bored during this time. Once the attacks begin, the action and tension take center stage and carry the movie. This is the heart of what is going on and it only takes an hour to get going! The problem here is that the action is the same the entire time. Soldiers with guns and explosions. There isn’t really a progressive story except survive.
Yes, Yes, I know this is a true story, and if it is as accurate as they claim, then someone should have told Michael Bay not to make this into a movie! This is the kind of story meant to be read about to get the full political aspect, because watching a 2 hour and 20 minute movie like this isn’t getting that point across. I’m not the only person that feels this way as many review sites have given this movie a so-so rating and it is true. This movie is mediocre as an action movie because, let’s face it, that is what it is, an action movie. I’ve seen political war movies like American Sniper, The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty and those movies integrate everything well, but this movie is a lackluster action movie with over-developed characters.
Again, I’m reviewing this a movie and not belittling what happened in Libya that day, but did we really need to see this story in movie form? I’m not even giving this movie a “rotten” review, but for the most part, everything is bland and way too drawn out. I would advise anyone interested in this story to read a book or internet articles, because watching this movie won’t do you any good if you want to know more about what happened in Libya. This movie is something to watch if you want to be semi-entertained with an “ok” action film. Starring Jon Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, Max Martini, Alexia Barlier, David Costabile, Peyman Moaadi, Matt Letscher, Toby Stephens and Demetrius Grosse.
6/10 Stars – Too long and with decent action sequences, the proper way to tell this story was in words, not with a Michael Bay action movie.