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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a comparatively mature and restrained effort from Michael Bay, albeit one that can't quite boast the impact its fact-based story deserves.
All Critics (216)
| Top Critics (41)
| Fresh (110)
| Rotten (106)
Bay certainly has a style of his own, albeit one that again harks back to the 1980s -- an even more cartoonish variant on the music-video bombast pioneered by directors such as Tony Scott.
The title should give you some idea of how long this two-and-a-half hour film really feels.
The final word on this incident will require a more thoughtful filmmaker. But hopefully, that artist will possess at least half of Bay's punishing, peerless craft.
The movie is imperfect and overlong but it's never boring. And, although aspects of its factual accuracy can be called into question, it does a decent job of chronicling what happened that night.
Several critics have given 13 Hours a pass, citing Bay's skill at action engineering. It's his failure at everything else that makes this movie as hard to endure as it is impossible to believe. #helpme
[Bay] does well here what he always does well: He keeps the action at full throttle. This is also what he does so annoyingly: He always keeps things at full throttle.
The film, while not without its share of real flaws, certainly offers something more than the usual big dumb [Michael] Bay business.
With [Krasinski's] winsome presence as the central character, 13 Hours has far more pathos and charm than I anticipated from a Bay military spectacle.
Bay allows this story to unfold, giving the audience the opportunity to understand the tragic circumstances of this horrendous attack.
The film highlights the contributions and sacrifices of the private armies of security people who work in the Middle East in exceptionally dangerous circumstances.
Politics aside, 13 Hours is just a dull and poorly assembled grab for ticket sales. The film is visually hard to follow, never fully invests in its characters, and never gets the audience to do the same.
13 Hours tells an exciting story in the most boring way possible, like a patronizing picture book describing warfare.
Sure, in the beginning and end there is the usual "cool US boys" banter and family videos with a certain disdain for anyone who doesn't know how to shoot and kill. However, the long middle section of the events is high adrenaline action, both uncomfortable and engaging. Bay knows how to film and cut such scenes and they make for a very entertaining film. Whether this has much to do with what actually happened in Benghazi that night is for someone else to decide. Other director's like Bigelow would have made a much more political film, but as far as the action goes there is nothing to complain here.
A slow beginning to a rather action packed, tension filled ending! if you liked American Sniper and/or The Lone Survivor, then you'll enjoy this.
"13 Hours" is the kind of picture that harkens back to the Michael Bay of old; specifically the Michael Bay of "The Rock." His strength has always been highly polished action, and the surprise here isn't that his latest is an impressively mounted action film, but alas a rather coherent one as well.
Let me first start off by saying that, before I get into any negatives (which are slim), I am going to be giving this film an overwhelmingly positive review. "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" follows six men as they are tasked with going to benghazi to protect the men serving. Against all odds and against their jurisdiction, they must flea their site when an attack begins. After an American Ambassador is killed at a U.S. compound, this crew tries to figure out exactly what is going on, while trying to stay alive and protect their people.
Directed by Michael Bay and being released in mid January should have been two big red flags, due to the fact that this is the time of year when studios have no faith in their products. I must say, with little to no product placement, humour placed in the right places for the most part, and a cast that will have you in tears due to their realistic portrayals of these characters, "13 Hours" is easily my favourite film I have seen this January.
Yes, there are a few hiccups here and there, when they maybe did not have to crack as many jokes in certain moments and a few slow motion shots felt out of place. There are very few of those moments however. Aside from those complaints, this film had a surprisingly tight script and gripping action sequences. It may feel slightly long to some viewers, but that is just Michael Bay's style. I thought this movie was great from start to finish. Words I did not expect to say. "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi" is terrific and emotional!
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