13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

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Starring: John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, Max Martini, Alexia Barlier, David Costabile, Peyman Moaadi, Matt Letscher, Toby Stephens

Plot: Following the civil war that broke out in Libya in 2011, Benghazi became one of the most violent places in the world. The U.S. pulled all of its American outposts there, except under the CIA, a group of contractors by the name “Global Response Staff (GRS),” remained stationed in Tripoli and Benghazi. Benghazi falls under attack and the forces unite in the fight of their lives all while trying to figure out the root of all the chaos.

Rating: 6/10

Overall: While I know this is based on a true story and is remarked as an “anti-Hillary” film, it was sometimes difficult to follow – which perhaps that’s what the film was trying to convey: that even the soldiers weren’t even sure what they were fighting for (besides their survival). I didn’t see it as an anti-Hillary film, despite the one line in the film (*SPOILER*) where a woman is on the phone asking for air support, and later in the film the same woman is telling a fellow soldier, “I called for air support and nobody came.” While the action was good (as all Michael Bay films never fail to impress on that level), I just felt like there was a lot missing to bring the film together. The beginning had a lot of text, which is great since I didn’t really know the backstory to it. However, that’s not something I particularly enjoy doing at the beginning of the film. I think if they started it with some background…like the beginning of the civil war and Americans being deployed there as well as some communications or “behind the scenes” stuff between the CIA contractors and the U.S. commanders/politicians (whatever they’re called) back in the actual U.S. For example, like the woman who calls, to show the other person on the other end of the line – showing their reaction to her request and the action they take (or choose not to take) after the call ends (and even if that reaction isn’t documented in real-life, it would still be a great way to envision how that person would’ve reacted).

Also, just a side note that has no importance to the actual film – I think this is by far one of John Krasinski’s best films. Not only is he extremely good looking in it, but it’s nice to see him out of a romantic or comedic role and into a more serious role.

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