By Linley McCord
This year’s first war movie is out and it does not disappoint. “13 Hours” is an in-depth look at what happened in Benghazi, Libya in 2012. Director Michael Bay does the story decently well and it is definitely worth the watch.
For those of you who don’t really remember what happened in Libya four years ago, the film does a good cliff-notes version of background information. In military-like font, you see that Benghazi is one of the most dangerous cities on the planet and that there are two US outposts—a pseudo-embassy and a CIA station that’s off the record.
Viewers follow a team of six specially trained ex-military men as they come in to protect the base and a US ambassador. The first 30 minutes of the movie are spent setting up a tense scene of political unrest—which was 15 minutes too long. But when the fighting begins, it doesn’t stop.
Bay does an exceptional job of portraying war as not something to be glorified, but there were some moments of artfulness that felt out of place. If the movie hadn’t been a true story, creative camera angles or perspective shots on falling ammunition could be impressive, but not when the goal of the bomb was the end of real American lives.
Jack Silva (John Krasinski) is the focal point of the movie, displaying a devoted soldier and father. And yes, some characteristics of Jim Halpert do come out, even in the warzone.
The characters as a whole are fairly well developed—each dealing with their own reasons for fighting this battle in the desert. There were some corny lines from everybody, but it doesn’t diminish the overall mood of the movie: intense.
As a war movie, it was solid. Not quite as emotionally draining as “Lone Survivor “ or “Unbroken” but more along the lines of “American Sniper.” Fair warning: there are some gruesome moments but not an excessive amount.
It gets 7/10 stars and is worth the trip to the theater.
Rated R for violence and language.