Michael Bay doesn’t exactly have the best track record with making a good movie based on a true story. Or for making good movies in general for that matter. That has officially changed.
13 Hours is based on the true events that transpired in 2012 when the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya was attacked. It details how several military contractors working for the CIA fought for the survival of themselves, and every other American in the area.
I was really worried going into the movie. The trailers looked impressive all the way up to the point where Michael Bay’s name popped up. I mean I enjoy his movies for what they are, but was worried about his ability to handle the subject matter. I’m sure some of you had similar thoughts, but I’m here to tell you those are unwarranted. This is a really, really good movie. Bay has subdued his usual self and presents a much more somber and realistic feeling movie. The sound and visuals of the battle make you feel like you are there. All of those action scenes are actually well done and depicted the heroes of that night in the way they deserved to be depicted. The actors portraying said heroes all do a great job, particularly James Badge Dale and John Krasinski. I’ll be honest, for the first 30 minutes or so of the movie, I could only see Jim Halpert whenever Krasinski was on screen. That all changed by the end of the movie. He has some really good emotional moments that show his strength as an actor. It was really interesting to find more out about this story than just what I’ve seen on the news. Obviously, some creative liberties were probably taken, but it for the most parts seems to tell the whole story. That being said it never takes a political stand. It shows the facts and lets you draw your own conclusions.
I do have several gripes with the movie, but nothing huge. First of all, while Bay subdued himself for sure, his mark is still visible. There are still moments of unnecessary slow motion and fireworks coming out of explosions, because apparently explosions don’t look cool enough by themselves. The banter between characters and humor is good overall, but there is one character in particular who gets a little cartoonish at times. I also think the beginning of the movie, prior to the attack, is a little shaky and the movie takes a little bit to find its footing.
All in all, this is by far Michael Bay’s best movie and a solid depiction of what happened. It’s not quite as good as recent war movies Lone Survivor and American Sniper, but it’s still worth seeing for sure. It continues 2016’s solid start movie-wise. I’ll give 13 Hours a 4.25/5.
Have you seen 13 Hours yet? Let me know what you thought of this or any of Bay’s previous movies in the comments.