13 Hours, like the rest of the Transformers movies, features the best and worst of what Micheal Bay can do. It’s an indictment of his reductive worldview and a testament to his capabilities as an action movie director.
This movie adaptation of a true to life story offers bombastic action. The camerawork, which would remind regular moviegoers of Micheal Mann’s work, is able to capture the brutality of the confrontation. It’s chaotic, immersive, and unlike the jumbled action sequences of Transformers, you know who’s shooting whom.
The cast adds a human touch to the proceedings, even though the movie treats them as nothing more than cardboard figures in an overlong combat reel.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldier’s of Benghazi is simply just that – an overlong combat reel that reduces a complex issue into one long standoff and uses the men who it supposedly exalts as toy soldiers to fulfill Bay’s jingoistic fetishism.
Here we have the same old story of manly men held back by annoying pencil pushers and ivy league educated wussies. There’s a shot of some dude in the background in short shorts exercising while the said pencil pusher lectures another grunt to prove it.
The plot kicks into gear with relentless action as they finally get rid of the bad guys. Their motivations are unclear, but this is a Michael Bay movie, so it doesn’t really matter. Low-angle shots are used to make the soldier-for-hires bigger, while the Libyan allies are useless amateurs.
The body count piles up but the heroes are indistinguishable from one another. While the handheld camerawork gives it a documentary look and feel, Micheal Bay can’t help but plaster it with the blockbuster treatment, which makes his motivations look disingenuous.
While the movie would like to tell you that this is about American heroism, it’s a political movie disguised as a drama, and timed to the start of a presidential election.
In the end, what you get is a political stunt and Bayhem in one.
13 Hours - The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is an immersive but jingoistic bayhem flick that reduces a complex issue into an overlong standoff.