2 hours, 24 minutes
R Restricted. Under 17 Requires Accompanying Adult.
for strong combat violence throughout, bloody images, and language
John Krasinski ...
James Badge Dale ...
Tyrone 'Rone' Woods
Pablo Schreiber ...
Kris 'Tanto' Paronto
David Denman ...
Dave 'Boon' Benton
Dominic Fumusa ...
John 'Tig' Tiegen
Max Martini ...
Mark 'Oz' Geist
Alexia Barlier ...
David Costabile ...
Peyman Moaadi ...
Matt Letscher ...
Ambassador Chris Stevens
13 Hours opens with a brief summary of the
events that turned Libya from a nation under the rule of despot Muammar
Gaddafi into a nation in charge of its own destiny. Unfortunately, this
transition was far from clean, leaving the country in upheaval. We are introduced to Jack Silva (John Krasinski)
arriving in Benghazi. He’s a former military man, now independent
contractor on a short term contract to help provide security for a
covert CIA location and a nearby American diplomatic post. Silva is one
of six men at the post. The rest of the team consists of Tyrone 'Rone'
Woods (James Badge Dale), Kris 'Tanto' Paronto (Pablo Schreiber), Dave
'Boon' Benton (David Denman) John 'Tig' Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa), and
Mark 'Oz' Geist (Max Martini). Each one is a former Navy SEAL or Army
Spec. Ops. soldier. They're the best in the world at what they do.
These also are the men who co-wrote the book on which 13 Hours is
based. As such, each one of them is presented as both a perfect soldier
and a loving family man. Maybe it’s true that these six men knew
exactly what to do at every moment when nobody else could do anything
right. But as a movie that’s supposed to be based on a real event, they
seem a bit too perfect. Nobody is flawed, nobody makes a mistake at any point.
At the same time, each actor is able to bring some degree of humanity
to their character so you do end up caring
about them. But it's John Krasinski who's the absolute standout in an excellent cast.
The plot advances once U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens arrives
and insists on staying at a less-secure diplomatic post (as opposed to
the safer CIA location). Stevens is a “true believer” who is trying to
do everything he can to help the nation of Libya get on its feet. The
worst fears of our band of soldiers come true, however, when an assault
begins on the compound and the ambassador finds himself in danger.
Politics also plays a role in the story, although, to
be fair, the movie does its best to keep things as even as possible.
Nobody mentions Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama by name at any point.
Instead, the villain here is bureaucracy, as personified by a CIA
station chief who is such a caricature they don’t even bother to give
him a last name. He’s the one who orders the team to stand down when
they want to go in because it goes against protocol. The team agrees
until a call comes over the radio telling them that if they don’t come
now, everybody will die. The CIA chief (David Constable) still orders
the team to stand down. If you followed the news at the time, you know
they decide to disobey the order.
What follows, from that moment, is the 13 Hours of the title, as the team attempts to rescue those at the
embassy, and then keep themselves alive until help arrives to get them
out. Director Michael Bay ("Transformers") ably handles the intense action and it's beautifully shot as well. This is a perfectly serviceable action movie that’s well worth seeing, if a war themed action film is what you're looking for.