Wednesday, 27 January, 2016

"13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" Is Absolutely Riveting

Arnold White | 22 January, 2016, 14:38

Director Michael Bay leaves out politics and blame in this exciting and very powerful war thriller, "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi", starring John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, David Costabile and more.

"We were told to 'stand down,'" Paronto said in an interview with Politico. "This is what actually happened", said Charles Woods, father of Tyrone Woods. And Bay gets preoccupied with delivering audience-baiting "kill shots", engineered to appease our bloodlust and avenge our enemies.

Under Bay's guidance, this action-packed film is absolutely riveting. You can almost smell the bullets and grenades. I mean I watched every news station. It's reminiscent of a Michael Bay + "Lone Survivor" or "American Sniper" type film, and is one I'd definitely see again.

Much of the initial allure is the exotic landscape of Libya. You know he is doing this to you. "I warn you, it is going to make you a little angry". Sad as it is, there is a sense of triumph because though four men are murdered, the film states 26 lived thanks to these six Navy Seals.

Everything in director Michael Bay's cinematic vocabulary - the glamorizing slo-mo, the falling bomb point-of-view shots, the low-angle framing of his heroes with blue sky, fireballs or an American flag in the background - suggests not real life, or the way things might have happened, but a Michael Bay movie. The script was written under advisement of the soldiers who were there. Even through the scrim of Bay's bro-centric, fetishized fog of war, it's possible to appreciate the harrowing acts of courage, self-sacrifice and service at the core of the story.

AP: What kind of reaction do you hope from the military community? I for one had trouble telling some of the actors apart- there's the big, muscled, bearded guy with red hair, the other big, muscled bearded guy with red hair, and then at the end (SPOILER ALERT) they're joined by a third big, muscled, bearded guy with red hair, who shows up just in time.

Meanwhile, back at the diplomatic compound, Ambassador Stevens (Matt Letscher) and his security detail lock themselves in a safe room and wait for help. It focuses on a group of security contractors who were working for the clandestine intelligence agency. For one thing, they tend not to play as well internationally - a major drawback at a time when foreign ticket sales can comprise nearly 70% of a picture's gross. He draws a line in the sand with the good guys on one side and the bad guys on the other.

Benghazi casualties could have been worse. Instead understanding is attempted out of bloody chaos. Even Bay's hyper-edited shaky cam, which is somewhat annoying during that first hour of setup, is used to great effect here, reinforcing the feeling of disorientation and uncertainty these guys clearly have to work through.


Meanwhile, the political implications raised by 13 Hours began to emerge Sunday, as CNN host Jake Tapper asked Clinton whether she had seen film yet.

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