13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

I kept putting off 13 Hours for over a year because it was directed by Michael Bay. Basically all this guy does is filling movies with action. Nothing but action. But this one caught me off guard. While there still are a lot of explosions and gunfire, that's Bay's style after all, 13 Hours is a pretty darn good film.

It's set in Libya in 2012 after Gaddafi's downfall and follows a group of ex-military contractors who disobey their order to stand down to save the American Ambassador (Matthew Letscher) and his security as their compound fall under attack by a group of insurgents.

It's a very poignant and sad (true) story that only focuses on the soldiers and the people of the unofficial CIA base, completely ignoring the politics behind it, and that was a good move. This way the film avoids getting overly political. It doesn't try to explain why it happened, it doesn't point fingers, but it simply informs the viewer of what happened. It's up to the viewer to decide that. 

And now it's when I compliment Michael Bay for doing a good job. The pace is just perfect, he delivered the confusion and chaos with plenty of tension and emotions, and the film felt real, also because of the action. There are some exaggerated CGI moments, mostly explosions, but the overall action is more than solid. I wasn't crazy about the slow-motion shots though. They were done well, but there were too many of them. 

Paramount Pictures
13 Hours is a pretty good looking film too. The cinematography is great, especially during the battle scenes, and it puts you right in the center of the action. It makes you feel as if you were there, as if you were one of those soldiers. And it's got a pretty good score as well. 

At last, there's the acting. It's pretty good, especially from John Krasinski who proves he can do more /better than The Office with a solid and at times emotional performance as Jack Silva, the leading character. Also, he shares a nice chemistry with James Badge Dale, playing another soldier, which makes them look like real childhood friends.

I have a complaint though, I wanted more character development. On that department, the film falls flat. 

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