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13 HOURS (2016)

Michael Bay’s film based on a book by Mitchell Zuckoff of the same name with a screenplay by Chuck Hogan is based on a true story following six members of the security team who fought to defend the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya after a series of terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2012. However the film chooses to take the approach that the security team was told to stand down thus preventing them from properly defending the American Embassy thus producing a most disastrous outcome for all involved. They were located in a security outpost about a half mile away from the American compound and the official U.S. explanation and the eyewitness testimony seems to contradict each other, however the film presents the situation from the security team’s point of view so it frankly is difficult to tell who was telling the truth. Either way it was a tragic circumstance and an area of the world that no U.S. citizen let alone diplomat should have been anywhere near despite all the warnings about an imminent attack that were presented in the days prior. As a film it was well made and considering I have never given a Michael Bay film a good review it says something for him as a director. Previously known for directing action adventure films such as the TRANSFORMER series, he actually shows a certain depth of character working from a basically sound screenplay that tells its story from a particular point of view. Whether or not that point of view is to be believed, I found the story compelling with a certain depth that has been lacking in virtually all of his previous films. The films stars James Dale Badge, John Krasinski, Max Martini, Dominic Fumusa, Pablo Schreiber, and David Denman among others, all of whom acquit themselves quite well.

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