13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)
Directed by Michael Bay
Based on the book 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff
Screenplay by Chuck Hogan
Starring: John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, James Badge Dale, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa
A small security team attempts to save the lives of those caught in the midst of an attack on the American embassy in Libya.
This film tells the true story of the attack on the American compounds in Libya in 2012. The story is based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff which was adapted by Chuck Hogan (The Town). Michael Bay (The Rock) directed the movie. John Krasinksi (Promised Land), Pablo Schreiber (Lords of Dogtown), James Badge Dale (The Departed), David Denman (After Earth), and Dominic Fumusa (Focus) star in this one.
This film is an account of the events surrounding the attack on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. The film is based on the book 13 Hours, written by Mitchell Zuckoff. The writing does a nice job of setting the stage early in the film. Instead of dwelling on the minutia of the lives of the characters, the movie finds the right elements to highlight. This allows the movie to look at the bigger picture. The tension in the story begins with the characters, but is built on the foundation of the larger situation that they find themselves in the midst of. The action sequences are intense and well-written, and the quieter moments don’t ever feel forced or overly sentimental. Much like Lone Survivor, this one does a great job staying away from the common clichés of military movies. The emotional payoffs in this one are strong and paired nicely with the intense events that precede them. Overall, this is a wonderfully written movie.
The acting throughout this movie features great performances from a number of talented people. Like most of my favorite war movies this one doesn’t have one standout star. Instead, the cast of this movie helps to bring the brotherhood between the men a sense of realism that is essential to this story. John Krasinski leads this one with a performance that feels miles away from his days on The Office. His physical transformation and emotionally driven performance really add something special to this one. He’s joined by a large cast that all do great work with their roles as well. Some of these stars include James Badge Dale, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, and Pablo Schreiber. There are a number of other people who I could mention in this movie. Overall, the performances really make the material come to life with vivid realism that brings out the intensity of the story.
This movie was filmed in Malta and Morocco. These locations serve as excellent backdrops for the story. While I’m sure there are details that some people might want to single out as problems, this does enough for the story to feel real. The costume work, makeups, and set design all work nicely as well. The cinematography pairs nicely with some really great action sequences also. This includes some nice effects and stunt work as well. Overall, this one has a great production value that doesn’t seem to miss anything.
This is a powerful movie about a very controversial series of events in recent American history. The violence is intense and graphic, so it might not be for everyone. I would also caution anyone who might be looking for a film with an agenda. This one does a nice job of not leaning too far into the politics behind some of these events. If you’re a fan of action films, war movies, or history; this is one to see. I would also encourage fans of the stars to check out some great and often unexpected performances. I give this one 4.5 out of 5 stars.
It finds Bay in a different mode. But still the same. Making it a bit of a mixed affair. Nice review.
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This is the way Bay should be making films. It’s got so much to offer. I hope he stays closer to this with future projects. Thanks for checking it the review.