Tuesday, January 19, 2016

13 Hours

           Based on the true story of an attack of Americans in Benghazi in 2012, this is a harrowing modern day Alamo (as one character accurately describes it). Six privately contracted security men (all ex- armed forces) are hired to protect a covert CIA operation in Benghazi. When terrorists attack the temporary headquarters of American Ambassador Chris Stevens and then turn their sights on the CIA compound, it is up to the band of ex-military brothers in arms to protect the civilians.

            Directed by the action king himself, Michael Bay, the film build slowly giving just enough background of the main characters so that when the attack happens, we are fully invested in the lives of these men. The attack, which comes in waves, makes up much of the second half of the film and Mr. Bay is not frugal with chaotic firefights or numbing explosions. Those unfamiliar with the outcome will succumb to the suspense of wondering who lives and dies.

             The film stars James Dale Badge as Tyrone "Rone" Woods and John Krasinski as Jack Silva, the two most recognizable members of the cast. Mr. Badge starred on the short lived AMC TV show, "Rubicon" and Mr. Krasinski is best know as Jim on the TV show, "The Office". Both pull off an incredible transformation into lean, mean, men of war.  The film also stars Pablo Schreiber as Chris "Tonto" Peronto (the script gives him the best one-liners), Dominic Fumusa as John "Tig" Tiegen, Toby Stephens as Glen "Bub" Doherty and David Denman as Dave "Boon" Benton . Each actor admirably honors the actual man they portray. 

              The bureaucratic errors that left them to fend for themselves are still under investigation in Washington today. Politics aside, the film is a testament to the bravery and devotion these men had to protect the civilians against an overwhelming enemy they couldn't even clearly define. It is a story that will leave you both angry and proud to be an American.

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