Now I know why this wasn’t released during Oscar season.
John Krasinski stars as Jack Silva – a former Navy SEAL hired to protect a secret CIA compound in Benghazi, Libya. It’s one of the most dangerous places on the planet, and the situation is about to get even worse.
The U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens (Matt Letscher), is scheduled to be in Benghazi in mid-September, and Silva’s group of former military ops, among others, have been warned to lay low because of possible terrorist activity.
On the anniversary of September 11, the U.S. Consulate housing the Ambassador is attacked, and the only people with the skill and training to step in are Silva and his teammates, which leads to one of the most shocking nights of their lives.
I don’t think we will ever know the complete truth about what happened on that fateful night, but director Michael Bay and writer Chuck Hogan aren’t trying to make a political film or a documentary. Aside from some general grousing about how those in charge are mired in politics, while these men are men of action, Bay is sticking to the type of film he knows best.
While this movie is based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff, Bay has made 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi into an action movie with some failed attempts to bring emotion to the characters and situations. Think of it as explosions with some heartstrings being tugged at.
As you might guess, Bay is better at the stuff going boom than he is at the stuff that is supposed to make us cry as we see heart stopping firefights, feel crackling tension as the soldiers try to determine who is friend and who is foe, and witness horrific scenes that would break the hearts of even the toughest of souls.
Yet, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi slows down when Bay tries to make it about the relationships between the 6 heroes and their heart to heart conversations in the quiet moments. The writing isn’t there as Hogan provides bland, simple thoughts instead of anything evocative or provoking.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi won’t clear up any of the questions surrounding these horrible hours, but it will make you appreciate heroism and those who do what is right and follow a strong moral code when it needs to be done.
2 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi is rated R for strong combat violence throughout, bloody images, and language.