Bay Brings The Rain In ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’ (Movie Review)

13 Hours Review13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi has a trailer that screams unmistakably this was made by Sir Michael Bay.  That could either be a good thing or a bad one.  If you think the first Transformers flick or The Island in my case, then that’s good.  However, if you think the last three Transformers films, then that’s very bad.  I digress.  Let’s give the guy the benefit of the doubt here.  Say what you want about the man, but Michael Bay knows how to deliver on the balls-to-the-wall action in films.  That much you can take to the bank.  So getting back to what I originally was saying, I like military films, and the trailer for this one was pretty rad, so yeah…I’m thinking I want to watch 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi despite it being a January release.

Not to beat a dead horse, but let’s recap here real quick before we jump balls in.  13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is both directed and produced by Michael Bay.  It was written by scribe Chuck Hogan, based on the 2013 book 13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff.  The film stars James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini, Toby Stephens, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman (John’s Office rival), Dominic Fumusa, Demetrius Grosse and Freddie Stroma. Yes, you read that right…John Krasinski from NBC’s The Office.  I’m not going to lie, this made me even more curious about this one, more so than the tension filled trailer.  I wanted to see how John fairs in this one and if so, what was the chemistry between him and Office alumni David Denman.

So in a nutshell, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is based on the true story of the six members of a security team who fought to defend an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, after a terrorist attack on September 11, 2012.  It all goes down when a group of crazy Islamic militants attack the compound and the nearby CIA Annex.  They were busy that night for sure.  Little did they know what awaited for them as our “main” heroes, six CIA security contractors comprised of former Navy SEALS, Marine Force Recon and Army Special Forces, rose to the occasion to desperately defend the compound against all odds and ultimately thwart the treacherous situation.

I guess you can also say boom, boom, Bay!  That’s right, baby!  Michael Bay and his pyrotechnics were on full display throughout this very long 2.5 hour movie.  It literally was unmistakably Bay right down to the slow-mo effects which drove me crazy at times because we’re supposed to be watching a bonafide war picture, not The Matrix.  However, I digress because if there’s one thing Michael Bay knows how to do besides cast beautiful women, it’s delivering the action goods.  And that much he does extremely well here.  It’s very graphic, Rated-R, complete with F-bombs, like every good action movie should be despite me wondering when an Autobot or a Deception was going to pop up.  I kid, I kid.  Okay, I am half serious.  Haha.

I employed the word “main” up above while talking about the six soldiers here to elicit a response.  There were a lot more than six soldiers here.  Don’t let the trailer fool you.  There were a smorgasbord of characters to keep up with and at times even I’ll admit it got a bit confusing.  Thankfully, you just rooted for the good guys so that always made things easy for me.  The shining star here though, or the guy Michael focused on the most, was our main character portrayed by John Krasinksi.  Now tell me, John, where did you get those abs?  That’s right females.  John’s not that dorky guy anymore that we all remember him as on television.  Oh no!  He’s been working out and one shirtless scene in particular makes you take notice of his chiseled abs.  I have to admit, I’m kind of jealous, John.  Good for you!

So with war pics of this kind there’s always a sense of comradery and I’m pleased to report that the chemistry is strong here with the six main characters.  They each had an okay developed backstory and seemed to jive really well onscreen together.  Sadly there wasn’t any great scene I can remember to brag about with Krasinksi and Denman, but I’m not complaining terribly as I think John did a really great job in this one.  I would actually come back to see him in another action outing should he choose to pursue it.  I think his role is extreme enough to separate him from that guy he played all those years on The Office and his acting chops/merits warrant another go around in an action thriller as he holds his own quite exceptionally well here in my opinion.  He no longer looks like this goofy guy here.

What really kept me vested in 13 Hours was that it’s a true story, which I obviously knew nothing about.  So call me curious, but I wanted to see how this all played out.  However, there’s that runtime that kind of wore me down, but thankfully every time the action scenes rolled around, I was back in the game once again.  It felt like I was watching a live version of a Call of Duty video game, and that ain’t ever a bad thing in my book.  So if Bay’s goal was to put you in these men’s boots, he succeeded there.  Just watching the relentless battles fatigued me, and that’s just my point, yes this was touching and heartfelt (a little different from the usual Bay style), but man oh man did it ever feel long.  However, and after all, this is a Michael Bay presentation and what a visual, boom boom one it was.  He definitely brings the rain in this one.  I recommend a theatrical watch for this alone.  It has heart.  It has camaraderie.  But at the end of the day, it’s still a Michael Bay (void the ridiculous eye candy he’s usually known for casting).



13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Opens Nationwide January 15th


13 Hours Poster


Owner/Writer/Reviewer/Editor, Dreamer, Producer, Agent of Love, Film Lover, Writer of Screenplays and a Devoted Apostle to all things Ford Mustangs (the real ones with V8's!). Some of my favorite films include FIGHT CLUB, MOULIN ROUGE, THE DARK KNIGHT, STAR WARS alongside television shows such as SEINFELD, 24, SANFORD & SON and even the often loathed in the geek community BIG BANG THEORY. Outside of my three lives I live I also enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and our three girls (of the furry kind).

Comments are currently closed.