Angel’s Review of ’13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi’ (No Spoilers)

Movie Description:

“On Sept. 11, 2012, Islamic militants attack the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, an officer for the Foreign Service. Stationed less than one mile away are members (James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini) of the Annex Security Team, former soldiers assigned to protect operatives and diplomats in the city. As the assault rages on, the six men engage the combatants in a fierce firefight to save the lives of the remaining Americans.”

Angel’s Review:

Michael Bay put together a trailer that captivated and increased my interest for seeing this film. The story is fascinating and I couldn’t wait to see his interpretation of it considering how much respect he has for the military. I was also looking forward to John Krasinski’s transition from a comedic role to a serious one.

Unfortunately, the movie itself did not carry my interest with it. I was so disappointed with Bay’s execution that I walked out of the movie before the 2 hour mark. I don’t remember the last time I’ve walked out of a film but even when I wanted to stay, I simply did not care enough for the movie. The tone of this film is all over the place. I’m not sure whether to take the situation completely serious or comedic. There are a few moments where I chuckled, but the majority of the jokes are misplaced and unnecessary. There are moments where the tension is being built where makes you feel like you’re a part of the life-threatening situation.

However, because of the unnecessary and misplaced jokes within those situations, the tension is diminished along with the sense of urgency/high-stakes. The long sequences of gunfire and explosions made me feel fatigued and honestly, bored. The camera was jumping from angle to angle making it difficult to comprehend what was going on in the action shots. I felt lost in the story, which should not have been the case with this amazing story. This film could have had the potential to be as thrilling as The Hurt Locker. I think this film needed a different director so that the story could be represented with more depth within the characters, the courage, and the danger rather than focusing on the comic relief and action sequences. My choice would have been Denis Villeneuve, who directed amazing films such as Prisoners and Sicario.

In short, these veterans deserved a better depiction of their heroic acts during the horrific events that occurred during the attack on Benghazi. This is not a film worth experiencing at the movie theater which is so sad for me to say. I would say wait to stream it on Netflix. My rating for this film is 4/10 😦



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