13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

13 hours


Release date: January 15, 2016

First off, I want to add a disclaimer. I know this movie is based on real events and I am making no critique on what actually happened. My review is not intended to reflect on the real people who were involved in this attack, but merely the film adaption of this story. With all that out of the way…

I will start by saying I was not the target audience for this film.

The film adaptation of this story was probably one of the most misogynistic and macho things I’ve ever seen, served with a side of cheese.

The row of guys in front of me really enjoyed it though.

The writing for this film was terrible. I wanted to like this movie, but it was pretty obvious from the moment Jack (John Kransinski) and Tyrone (James Badge Dale) pulled their guns on some local Beghazians in perfect cheesy synchronization that this film wouldn’t live up to my hopes.

Where the screenplay was terrible, the script was worse. Here are some highlights:

“Go left. Go left!…They said make a right.”

“It’s ok, now you have a new son.”

“Get me naked and check for cuts.”

This last one was my favorite (sarcasm) because he screamed it at the only woman really represented in the movie. The only other times she was seen was when she was acting like a bitch, was wrong, and literally fell down. I couldn’t handle the amount of misogyny this film was spewing out.

Sadly, John Krasinski and Pablo Schreiber were in this film. Two actors I actually believe have talent but even they fell victim to the writing.

The thing is, this story needed to be told, but this film was just all over the place. It tried to go into the back stories of the main characters and also fully explain what was going on in Benghazi and why things were the way they were, but there was just too much information for any of it to have any real coherence. And nothing got a full explanation. And because of this anything that was suppose to pack some sort of emotional punch… didn’t.

This movie could have been so much better if the storyline had been about just telling the facts of what happened. Compared to Lone Survivor, which I found successful, was able to give a deeper understanding of the characters because the events it was depicting weren’t as involved. An event like what happened in Benghazi needs a lot of explanation because there were so many moving parts, in such a short time.

This movie did do a few things right. Pretty much all the action sequences. That’s thanks in part to the director Michael Bay. If there is one thing he knows, it’s explosions.

Plus, there was one line that I think balanced the cheese and macho just well enough to not be laughable which also summed up what the movie was going for.

“You can’t put a price on being able to live with yourself.”




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