Verdict: 3 / 5
In true Michael Bay style, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi offers more action than most can stomach. Packed with suspense from beginning to end, this is more than your typical war movie.
From the man who brought us The Transformers trilogy and Pearl Harbour, Bay’s newest release isn’t short of our expectations of his capabilities. This true story shows viewers a new angle on the American war in Middle Eastern countries.
Forced back into a war-stricken country, Jack Silva (John Krasinski) joins his old mercenary partner Tyrone ‘Rone’ Woods (James Badge Dale) on a covert CIA operation in Libya. Leaving behind his family and comfortable real estate job, things are just as tense as he expected. It all goes south as the American ambassador’s compound is ambushed. The threat level in Benghazi becomes critical and the team of six CIA contracted soldiers risk their own lives against the request of their commander. They realise something strange is going on and without the help of the American forces their chances of survival seem dismal.
Packed to the rim with action and overflowing with suspense, 13 Hours will leave you feeling drained. The visuals move between amateur and avant-guard, which ultimately create a nice effect for a combat war film. The darkness and confusion are accurately depicted as some scenes feel like they were filmed by a handheld camera – a great touch.
Unfortunately, the film suffers from having very little character development. Each character remains exactly how they are portrayed from the start. The emotional triggers are also very forced and overdone. It’s the storyline that really holds 13 Hours together.
Overall, 13 hours is worth watching. Sadly, as far as war movies go, it offers only a little more than what we have already seen.