13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is likely to raise hackles. There will be cries of, “We shouldn’t have been there,” and CIA meddling. Here’s the good news: It’s a free country, and you don’t have to see it.
This is the mostly unpublicized story of six hired-gun, security soldiers from a “secret” CIA spy headquarters close to the Benghazi embassy who valiantly tried to save U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and his staff in the attacks on Sept. 11, 2012.
The screenplay is written by Chuck Hogan (TV’s The Strain) and is based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s book. It is directed by Michael Bay (the four Transformers movies). Like noted earlier, the film doesn’t go into why U.S. forces didn’t rescue these people or respond. But it does have the characters often asking why no one has come to save them.
John Krasinski (The Office) and James Dale Badge (The Walk) anchor the film as best friends and warriors. Their chemistry and that of the rest of the cast is terrific. Bay doesn’t do a bad job of connecting you to these guys, though much of the dialogue is predictably like every other military action movie.
In action sequences, Bay has few equals. They are edge-of-your-seat, sometimes hold-your-breath intense. Unfortunately, Bay has never found a project he didn’t want to drag out and take it from intense and engaging to tedious.
And with this one. It’s too bad.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Director: Michael Bay
Stars: John Krasinski, James Dale Badge, Pablo Schreiber, David Denham, Dominic Fumusa, Max Martini
Mr. Movie rating: 3 1/2 stars
Rated R for extreme violence, some language, mature themes. It’s playing at the Carmike 12, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and Queensgate 12 and Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.