Director Michael Bay tells the true story of 2012 September 11th Benghazi attack on a U.S Compound and how six men in a security team take action and fight to protect their fellow American's and Libya from radicals.
Michael Bay, a director who has taken some harsh criticism over the past few years for his Transformers films proves that he in fact is a very talented filmmaker and can do more than just create some attractive looking set pieces. With 13 Hours, he tells the real life story of six courageous men who in the face of impossible odds fought and protected a U.S Compound in Benghazi 2012. He does the story justice and pays respect to the real life soldiers whilst also creating a highly entertaining action film, and it surprised me a lot.
As a die hard fan of The Office, I feared that I may just be seeing Jim Halpert up on the big screen, but John Krasinski proves that he's a lot more than just the wise cracking prankster of that show. He not only got into incredible physical shape for the role but delivered a truly great performance, especially in moments at the end of the film. James Badge Dale who you'll recognize from small roles in Iron Man 3 and The Walk also delivers a standout performance as the security team's leader.
The story of 13 Hours is one I was unfamiliar with before seeing the first trailer for the film, but it's a story I quickly became invested in. I bought into the characters and the war they were fighting. It's a story of true bravery in the face of impossible odds and whilst at times it feels slightly repetitive, I never got bored, I was invested from beginning to end. The performances are excellent, the action is visually spectacular and the tension is incredibly high.
Bay is known for directing some sweet looking action scenes and there are a couple of moments in 13 Hours where I found myself forgetting I was in a cinema because I was so engrossed in the film and the battle. But towards the end of the film Bay actually takes a break from the explosions and the gunfire to give characters some truly emotional moments. It's Krasinski who really delivers in these moments, actually managing to get me choked up a couple of times. These quieter moments remind us that these men have families waiting for them back home.
Whilst there are political undertones in 13 Hours, it never becomes about the politics, instead focusing more on the characters and the life or death situation they were in. Four American's died that night and several more were injured and the survivors of that attack have said how faithful Bay's film actually is. This is a very human story, definitely the most sincere and heartfelt movie of Bay's career.
The film is gruesome at times but never feels gratuitous, it feels real, dangerous and quite scary. Bay really shows off his dramatic chops here and reminds us that he's more than what his Transformers films show. The film is about 10 minutes too long and some unnecessary slow motion shots could have cut out but they're really my only complaints with the film. I had a blast watching 13 Hours and I recommend you check it out.
What did you think of 13 Hours? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @JamesPorter97