“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” is a well-made movie. Its shows that Michael Bay has the ability to make a very good film; hopefully he’ll continue to make films like this.
Though the film is about Benghazi, its not about Ambassador Chris Stevens (he’s in it and as played by Matt Letscher he comes across as a likeable, well-intentioned person who got caught in a very unfortunate event); its about how 6 Private Security Force Contractors who on Sept. 11, 2012 were able to save a group of people who worked for a CIA Outpost that was attacked.
“13 Hours” does something more movies that involves politics should do-it leaves them out. By doing so there isn’t any finger pointing, there’s no what could/should/might have been. Instead the movie shows what happened. This movie showed something that I don’t think has ever been shown in a movie that has intelligence gathering in it, the tension that exists between the people whose job it is to gather intelligence, and the people whose job it is to keep these people alive so they can gather the intelligence.
Another important aspect of this movie is, it isn’t in a rush. It takes the time for you to get know to the people in the movie. You see their hopes, their fears, so when the attack occurs you’re emotionally invested. The movie uses humor in a great way to relieve the tension that occurs not only in daily interactions because of the nature of the work involved, but also during the attack. The humor is organic; its never forced and it doesn’t feel/seem phony.
Everyone on the acting side does a very good job. But 3 actors stand out from rest by virtue of the fact they get the most screen time. This is totally justified because their performances are that strong and compelling.
The first is James Badge Dale as Tyrone S. “Rone” Woods; he’s the head of the Private Security Force. He’s been racking up a series of impressive credits in a bunch of well-known, high profile movies, mostly in a supporting capacity. With this performance he shows he has what it takes to be the lead actor, which should result in him getting more lead parts.
Next is John Krasinski as Jack Silva. He became famous playing Jim Halpert in the American version of The Office. His performance here shows that he’s just as good at drama and action as he is at comedy.
Last is Pablo Schreiber as Kris “Tanto” Paronto. Like Krasinski, he also became famous off a tv show-Orange is the New Black. His work here shows that he can be likeable (unlike the character he played on Orange is the New Black) and he is the main supplier of the film’s humor.
Until recently it used to be that if a movie was released in January that meant the movie was bad. Thanks to American Sniper and this film, this is no longer the case. “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” is powerful film that isn’t to be missed.