Review: 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

maxresdefault On September 11, 2012, the English language was gifted with a word that would be repeated non stop or the next 3 years. Benghazi. To this day I challenge anyone that knows about the events that transpired that night to point it out on a map. As a matter of fact just tell me what country the city is located in, I'll wait. For those that do not keep up with current events, an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi was attacked and four American citizens were killed. Since that fateful night, we still don't know what really happened but, thankfully, we have Michael Bay to set the record straight.

In Michaels Bay's latest love letter to the United States Military we have Jack (John Krasinski) an ex Navy Seal now contractor, making his way to Libya to watch over a bunch of CIA operatives. Along with him is his best friend Tyrone Woods (James Dale Badge) and eventually Kris Paranto (Pablo Schreiber). When we reach the compound we meet up with the rest of the rag tag crew of incredibly similar looking soldiers. We have Dave Benton (David Denmon), John Tegen (Dominic Fumusa) and Mark Geist (Max Martini). If you asked me to pick these guys out of a lineup, I could not do it. From here on out we embark on a journey where our hero's are willing to sacrifice themselves to save the lives of others.

Michael Bay is an interesting person to say the least. When you hear that he's directing a movie you know what you're in for. Now add the military element and you know EXACTLY what your are going to get. A cacophony of explosions, bullets ricocheting off of every possible surface and very little nuance and not much substance. Sure it's shot well with his signature style but the subject matter that this movie touches on should have been handled by someone that understands what character development is. At a hefty 144 minutes we should have at the very least gotten that much.

The biggest issue with this movie is the fact that it's incredibly difficult to care about anyone. Bay tries to give these characters a back story and a reason for us to care about them by doing a "Hey we all have families back home" montage. It's literally a montage of all of the members of the team talking to their significant others over Skpe, on their smart phones and tablets. We get the prerequisite "Hey Jack, I'm pregnant" which is supposed to add more weight to the situation that our main character finds himself in. It just falls flat. Not unlike the majority of the corny ass jokes that were bandied about. I know I nodded off at least 3 times. The damn movie felt like it was 13 hours. If that's the effect he was going for, bravo Mr. Bay, bravo. By the time the attack on the compound starts I was prepared to exit the theater stage left.

Once the action starts it doesn't really stop. I can speak ill of Michael Bay all day but the one thing the man does well is shoot action. Here he does what he does best. The action sequences are shot fine but they drag on and on and are pretty exhausting. One could say that this was stylistic choice to show that combat is terrible but as movie going experience, it didn't work for me. There was one stand out sequence that involved a bullet proof Mercedes Benz SUV. The rest of the action was tightly shot incredibly violent gun battles that drone on and on. In between these battles we get Bay's attempt at human drama that occasionally works.

Throughout the movie there's always an element of who are the bad guys. This particular element could have been touched on a little bit more to give the "enemies" a little more substance but who are we kidding, there's no time for that. We've got 2 hours and 25 minutes to empty as many clips into these brown people as possible while the American flag waves in the background. Yeah, no thanks Mr. Bay I'm over your shenanigans. I don't like this movie at all. It doesn't matter what I say though, it's going to make its money because, AMERICA!!!!!!

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