Built on the broad-shouldered backs of men who chose to do the right thing, 13 Hours is an admirable – yet never truly groundbreaking – attempt to patriotically and apolitically unfold the events that surrounded a Libyan militia attack on a Benghazi-based, U.S. compound in 2012. As with most things Michael Bay, chaos is the order of the day and here, as director, he shows encouraging signs of being able to pump the brakes when called for (more often than not). Unfortunately, he still has a penchant for obnoxiously ratcheting up the mayhem to an ear-shrilling fever pitch. We may bear witness to sparse spurts of cheesy dialogue and the occasional tick of near-jingoistic self-indulgence, but it still it remains one of Bay’s most balanced and engagingly bombastic films in years. There’s a resounding, immediately relatable emotional core at the center of this miscommunication meat grinder – a tangible camaraderie that cinematically thrives on love of family, love of duty and love of brothers-in-arms. And to each actor’s credit, there’s a palpable truth to the playful and tactical chatter – a point where we buy in to the plight of these heroes and those they’re tasked (and not asked) to protect. Although it ultimately lacks the true human depth of a Saving Private Ryan, the unnerving efficiency of a Black Hawk Down or the shell-shocked intimacy of The Hurt Locker – 13 Hours remains a well-paced, action-packed, grittily gung-ho flick that intriguingly informs and dutifully entertains.
Starring: John Krasinski, James Badge Daly, Pablo Schreiber, Max Martini, Toby Stephens, David Denman, David Costabile and Elektra Anastasi
Directed by: Michael Bay (Bad Boys, The Rock and Transformers)
Running time: 2hrs. 24mins.
Story: 13 Hours follows the attack of a U.S. compound in Libya as a security team struggles to make sense out of the chaos. Based on the book, 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.
Watch the trailer: www.thirteenhoursmovie.com