Welcome back Michael Bay!
After creating back-to-back critical disasters in the form of Transformers series, Michael Bay is now back with a bang! He made a biopic previously named “Pearl Harbor” only that the film has less facts and more fiction in the form lame acting and dragging of plot points. 13 Hours is based on the much-discussed incident which took place in 2012 where a CIA base in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by a terrorist group named Ansar al-Sharia. Since the departure of the CIA, Libya went on to become a failed state and is a stronghold for isis. Another trivia about this Benghazi attack is that it happened under US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s watch and this incident along with the publicized lies she told about the same cost her the momentum in 2016 presidential elections. The historical accuracy depicted in this film confirmed that it was a planned terror attack.
The movie has sluggish pacing initially but it picked up when the terrorists attacked US consulate’s house where he suffocated to death. The soldiers were asked to stay put by the CIA chief and the time cost consulate his life. Plus, the US fighters from Italy and other places refused to comply as they have no jurisdiction in Libya and they were on their own. I loved how CIA agents from Tripoli fought their way to Benghazi and that there were co-operative Libyan nationals who helped the Americans fight and hide, notably the neighbor who warned them about leaving the lights on and the men who signalled a traumatized Wickland to drive in the safe direction and away from the Al-Sharia. My favorite moment from the movie is when the Libyan armed nationals signaled The Americans implying that they were friends and a lot of Muslims across Libya apologized to the USA. So, Libya was never shown completely in a bad light and as rescuers, they did better than US military during the time of crisis.
The screenplay had the biggest role in terms of creating the intensity. The movie has a lot of dragging and it is to make us feel the time passage as the CIA agents were waiting desperately to be exfiled. We also feel for the agents who have family back at home and some of whom wanted to leave the career in order to have a normal family life. James Badge Dale plays Rone, the bravest and the most daring soldier amongst the 6 fighters. He acts against the stations chief’s orders in order to rescue the consulate during the initial attack. He stays up and fights most of the battle and takes the bullet for his fellow soldiers. John Krasinki’s performance is on point as Jack Silva, the newest member who is the one who wants to go back home. The aftermath of the war which resulted in them killing many militants, who were mourned by their parents, wives, and children, and their own people’s death affected them and this regret is seen while he talked to his wife at the end. Dominic Fumosa and Max Martini added their cents during the crisis. The best facet of this film is definitely the sound effects as we are inside the war zone while watching. The cinematography is executed well along with the editing. We won’t feel the time passage during the action sequences but otherwise, we identify with the emotions of the soldiers.
13 hours is a good watch but not an entertainer. But it is definitely worth collecting.