We have all seen war films. So many that we have almost become numb to what those engaged in war have to live through. The death and horror. 13 Hours, which is based on a true story and the book 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Actually Happened in Benghazi, sorta brings back the horror. What these men go through. For them this all happens after full army careers. They do it for the money largely. Money does not compensate for the strain, stress and danger they go through, though. A film like this really makes that hit home.
In Libya in 2012 the country is in chaos. The ousting of Gaddafi has created a power vacuum and plenty are willing to fight to take over. Violence and weapons are everywhere. Most foreign countries have closed shop on their embassies and gotten their people out. This is not the case with the United States.
The CIA has established an unofficial base in Benghazi staffed by a group of ex-military types who are providing the security for those working there. The team is under Bob (David Costabile – Lincoln, The Post) while the security team is led by Tyrone “Rone” Woods (James Badge Dale – The Departed, Iron Man 3). Jack Silva (John Krasinski – A Quiet Place, Detroit) is brought in to complete the team.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens (Matt Letscher – Her, Gods and Generals), arrives and sets up operation in a huge compound near the CIA base. He only has a small security team. On the night of September 11, 2012 his compound is attacked. Totally overwhelmed the small security team calls out to the CIA compound for help.
Bob does not want to send Rone, Jack and the rest of the team only to leave the CIA base vulnerable. Rone and Jack try to convince him otherwise as the ambassador and security team will all be killed otherwise.
A revealing look at how little value is placed upon the lives of those we send into areas of conflict. Whether they be ambassadors, soldiers or security teams. Human lives do not seem to be the most valuable things involved in the equation. Eye opening…or not as most of us already know that governments do not place a high value upon the lives of soldiers.
Soldiers or military people do not always get treated well by the rest of the population. Sometimes seen just as uneducated types who tend towards violence. That is rather narrowminded. A film like this goes a long way towards perspective. That these are people with a moral compass. They all risked their lives to try to save the ambassador and fellow soldiers. Could have stayed safe and just done what their CIA chief asked of them. Oddly enough it seems like the people who we send into armed conflicts and other chaos are those who value life the most.
Acting was solid. Nothing too spectacular. Kinda what you would expect from a rather action based film. All of the security guys were believable in their roles and looked the physical part. Good to see John Krasinski do something different. Already knew he was able to do comedy and drama, now he showed that he is fully capable and believable in a more physical type role.
It is a long film clocking in at two hours and 14 minutes and that should not be surprising as director Michael Bay (The Rock, Transformers: The Last Knight) never does anything small. All his films are gigantic things. That being said, the length does serve a purpose. You do feel like you are going through the 13 hours with them. Allows you to imagine how much strength it took on the part of those involved to remain alert and deal with the danger and stress involved.
- For the Record: Finding the Truth Amid the Noise
- Uncovering Benghazi’s Secret Soldiers
- Preparing for Battle: Behind the Scenes of 13 Hours
- Operation: 13 Hours Premiere
- In Memoriam