If you’re looking for a movie that will keep your attention, you’ve found it. 13 Hours is exciting, intense and above all well paced action movie. The story you’re about to see is based on the 2012 Benghazi attack in Lybia. We follow a group of contractors as they struggle to repel the attackers and save the lives of diplomatic personal. What should you also know is this is a Michael Bay movie, which means that the action is going to be really juicy. He controlled his over-the-top urges and the results are fantastic. However, what blew me away and why I gave it the coveted Rabbit Reviews Rating 9, was the pacing. Bay knew just when to speed up or slow down, keeping you engaged and entertained throughout. This makes 13 Hours just as good as Black Hawk Down or Lone Survivor.
First of all, I would like to address a couple of things that bothered me even before I clicked play. The USA’s policy of interventionism, global domination or imperialism to be more precise is a wicked one. The most powerful country on the world controls the narrative and portrays its actions as benevolent or helpful. In reality, any good that might come from them is only a byproduct of the inherent desire to control, exploit and dominate the world stage. Here’s just one Wikipedia article about United States involvement in regime change. Just take a look at that fucking list! And these are relatively official reports, we all know that the shit that goes on behind the scenes is much more sinister. All the while, people in United States are suffering which brings us to the second point, the people.
What brought Jack Silva to the country of Libya is lack of decent wages back home. The same goes for almost the entire team that struggles to make a living despite their obvious willingness and desire to work. What are the stats for people who enlist just so they could get to go to college or earn some money. Towards the end Tonto says your country needs to figure stuff out and the same goes for the US. It’s a fucked up story that will take up a lot more room than I’m willing to give it. The thing that I had to keep in mind during the entire movie is to focus on these individuals. They found themselves in a fucked up situation and did their best to get out of it. The larger military-industrial complex narrative I will leave for you to think about.
After the fall of Muammar Gaddafi one year earlier, Libya has become a dangerous place. Almost all the countries have already pulled their diplomatic outposts fearing terrorist attacks. United States has one diplomatic residence and one secret CIA outpost still operational. Amidst this chaos, Jack Silva arrives to the airport to join a couple of other military contractors employed by the CIA. They all have families back home and are looking to make some money in this highly unstable environment. Environment that’s soon to explode.
13 Hours not only starts out strong but it continually maintains this foreboding and visceral atmosphere. For a movie with a runtime of just under two and a half hours, it never gets boring or dull. The characters are well-developed and have this air of coolness around them. They’re just a tad more vibrant and upbeat than their counterparts in a similar war movie Black Hawk Down. And while John Krasinski is the official star, Pablo Schreiber as Tanto stole the show for me. He was so natural and engaging that you have to wonder why didn’t he become a much bigger star earlier in his career. I also have to mention one hell of a gimmick that is the surfer hand gesture accompanied by the words jambo. Jambo means hello in Swahili and the gesture is stemming from the surfer community meaning all is good.
The locations we see in the movie are identical to the real ones as they were built using original plans and images. They all look authentic and impressive, plus there’s this real feeling of isolation. As you might have guessed from the title, almost the entire movie takes place during the intense, 13 hour gunfight. So, once the action kicks off, strap in because you’re in for a quite a ride. There’s not much politics here, despite the shitstorm that happened back in the US. 13 Hours is here to tell the story of these contractors and other personal who tried to stay alive during a well-coordinated terrorist attack. I think they’ve created a respectful and relatively truthful retelling of the attack. As in so many other movies based on real events, the root causes of all problems can be found up the chain of command.
Cast: John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, Max Martini, David Costabile
Fun Facts: During interview on the Mark Levin radio program, Mark Geist said he snuck in during filming, and took the place of Max Martini, the actor portraying him. Michael Bay didn’t notice until Geist looked at the camera.