Today we watched 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, in part because we wanted to see the transformation of John Krasinski, (who we love as Jim in the American version of The Office) from his usual RomCom lead to action star
From director Michael Bay, who has found fame with the Transformers movies, but we much prefer for his earlier work like B Armageddon, Bad Boys and The Rock
This film is based on true events, based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff and adapted by Chuck Hogan who also gave us the screenplay for the Ben Affleck film The Town.
13 hours follows 6 soldiers of a security team, who have been hired to defend the nearby American Diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.
It’s2012 and Benghazi, Libya has been named one of the most dangerous places in the world with many countries leaving the area scared of attacks. The US has one diplomatic compound in the city and is protected by a CIA outpost, less than a mile away where we meet the 6 soldiers of the security team who work there.
Made up of private contractors, we follow Jack ‘Da’ Silva (Krasinski) who has joined the team, and to be reunited with his good friend ‘Rone’ (James Badge Dale)
Rone introduces Jack to the rest of the team; ‘Oz’ (Max Martini); ‘Tig’ (Dominic Fumusa);’Tanto’ (Pablo Schreiber); and ‘Boon’ (David Denman) as well as Bob, the by the book chief of the base (David Costabile)
When US Ambassador, Chris Stevens (Matt Letscher) arrives in Benghazi, he hopes to continue the relationships between the US and Libya despite all the chaos around him.
Ignoring advise from others, Chris stays in the diplomatic compound with limited security.
On the morning of the 11th Anniversary of the horrific 9/11 attacks, Stevens notes suspicious activity going on outside the compound and his feats turn justified when in the evening the compound is attacked by Islamic Militants.
What follows are the events that happen as the security team, who have been refused by Bob to go and help, now have to defend the CIA compound when the Militants turn on them.
For a Michael Bay film, this is a much better film than the CGI, ‘Blow everything up’ efforts of the Transformers movies. The film slowly builds up the tension between the two sides, from routine stops in cars to meetings where they are being watched.
The characters could maybe have been flushed out more, we only really follow Jack, who has to deal with knowing he is doing this for amongst other reasons, financial, to support his wife and 2 girls, and we learn he is to have a 3rd on the way, you do feel for them in their brief interactions via Skype calls.
The film has a nearly 2 and half hour run time, but luckily goes past quite fast, so no worries about it feeling like 13 hours.
In all honesty, the war genre is our least liked, when it comes to films, the fact that they tend to be based on true events makes them more horrific than any creature feature we can think of, but this was a worthwhile watch, in part due to Krasinski and the rest of the casts performances.
The final attack on the CIA is brutal with injuries and death on both sides, which of course is everything we do not like about war, so we do have to raise our cap to those soldiers who voluntarily choose to risk their lives to defend our freedom.
Have you watched 13 hours? Do you have a favourite Michael Bay film? We would love to hear from you here at Barking Mad About Films
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