Film Review “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi”

13 Hours3 13 Hours1 13 Hours2


First, the Recap:

Outnumbered. Outgunned. Trapped in a foreign land and tied up by the bureaucracy of those thousands of miles away and right in front of you, preventing you from taking the action required in a time of chaos and unexpected attack. Sounds like the a scenario from a video game, yet it became all too real in 2012, Benghazi, Libya. Spec ops soldier Jack Silva (John Krasinski) has arrived in country to be a part of a small contingent of other elite operators asked to guard a secret CIA outpost just outside the conflict-ridden city. Initially questioning the legitimacy of being there at all, they all come under the command of the CIA station chief, Bob (David Costabile), and unit leader Tyrone “Rone” Woods (James Badge Dale).

With the arrival of the U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens (Matt Letscher) to the area, who stays in a neighboring compound, regional tensions rise as it becomes more and more apparent to Woods and Silva their facilities are being monitored and sized up. When a sudden and vicious attack is launched by rebel militia against the Ambassador, Woods and the rest of the team–Silva, Kris “Tanto” Paranto (Pablo Schreiber), Dave “Boon” Benton (David Denman), Mark “Oz” Geist (Max Martini), and John “Tig” Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa)–all take up arms and, against orders, go to the aide of the compound.  Ultimately, the six men and others find themselves in a desperate battle for their lives and the lives of 20+ CIA workers against overwhelming forces.

Next, my Mind:

Deftly, candidly, and graphically illustrating the high-tension, gritty, and hard realities of the war on terror as taken on by our military in the Middle East, action auteur Michael Bay brings his directing skills to bear with “13 Hours”, presenting a harrowing , initially unknown true tale of a routine mission turned into a living hell. The elevated sense of building agitation and uncertainty is a palpable and transparent entity in its own right during the film’s first act, and by the time things explode into a frenzy, the viewer is already on the edge of their seat. In the same way “Lone Survivor” and “American Sniper” did, “13 Hours” truly does tribute to these amazing soldiers and their fortitude, resolve, courage, and self-sacrifice for the sake of defending American citizens.

Packing on muscle for the role, Krasinski completely shines as Silva, a soldier ready to do his duty, even though not fully understanding the reasoning behind their initial mission, who’s then thrust into extraordinary and deadly circumstances to defend American lives. Likewise, Dale, Schreiber, Denman, Martini, and Fumusa do equal justice in the real life heroes they enact as well, giving each their individual personalities, but mutual determination to stand firm against harsh odds. Solid supporting turns by Costabile, Letscher, Peyman Moaadi, Alexa Barlier, Demetrius Grosse, Toby Stevens, and others all adds to the weight and potency of the situation these people found themselves in. Impossible conditions, incredible bravery.

With its intense, visceral battle sequences and often hard-to-digest look at how politics and administration can cause unnecessary delay when quick decisions are needed, “13 Hours” is one film that needs to be seen to once again be reminded that, no matter when or where events take place and regardless of your overall stance is about the Middle East, we need to unconditionally support or troops putting their lives on the line for us and this nation’s freedom.

As always, this is all for your consideration and comment.  Until next time, thank you for reading!

Leave a Reply