Verdict : A nail-biting, ‘real’ film
Based on Mitchell Zuckoff‘s book ‘13 Hours‘, the American biographical war film 13 Hours : The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, has been written by Chuck Hogan and directed by Michael Bay. Set in the streets of a post-Gaddafi Libya, the film is an account of how an American security team of six, defends a US Ambassador and his staff against terrorists in Benghazi, Libya on the anniversary of 9/11.
Ambassador Chris Stevens (Matt Letscher) dies in the first assault. The Consulate staff race through the streets of “zombieland” to the CIA annex, where they find themselves under siege with ex-military men, the so-called “soldiers” – Jack Silva (John Krasinki), Tyrone “Rone” Woods(James Badge Dale), Kris “Tanto” Paronto (Pablo Schreiber), Dave “Boon” Benton (David Denman), John “Tig” Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa) and Mark “Oz” Giest (Max Martini).
With dizzying camera work and hyperactive editing, we find ourselves only moments away from someone being mowed down, vehicle chases, firebombs and a bus explosion; all this – liberally. Bay manages to capture the disorderly nature of modern warfare with disturbing visuals of violence and bloodshed.
What comes as a sigh of relief through the otherwise sober film, are some comical dialogues and scenes. Besides lacking coherence, the script does not lend itself to the development of its characters. One may find it hard to connect with the film instantly, however, this is not to say that it remains so. Glances at family photographs and phone calls home make this film a tearjerker even. Amidst its shortcomings, what is remarkable in the film is the fact that Bay does not portray Libyans as baleful.
Why you should watch this movie :
13 Hours : The Secrets of Benghazi is an earnest attempt by Michael Bay to pay tribute to the “soldiers” for their sacrifice. It is a film about loyalty, politics and patriotism. For those of us who love intense films, this is definitely worth a watch!