Michael Bay is an extremely successful director and one of the most debated names in Hollywood. Talk to anyone who is a movie fan and you are almost guaranteed to get either a love him or hate him response. I for one have always been a great admirer of Bay’s; he is a phenomenal action director that knows how to make a blockbuster popcorn movie unlike any other. He can take any action story from cops and bad guys in Bad Boys and The Rock to historically inspired war in Pearl Harbor to sci fi in Armageddon and The Island to his massive hit franchise with The Transformers films. But now he is expanding his scope to tackle one of the biggest true stories to hit the news in recent years.
In 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi John Krasinski plays Jack Silva, a former military special ops soldier now working as a private contractor at a CIA outpost in Benghazi, Libya. But less than a mile away from the outpost is a diplomatic compound with U.S. staff including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and it has fallen under attack by Islamic militants. When Silva and he team are denied permission to go to the compound to help, they disobey orders and go anyway and attempt to hold off a seemingly endless assault to protect the survivors.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is proof positive that Bay is more than flash and style. He still applies his strong suites to the film with beautiful photography and intense action sequences but in addition has incredible attention to detail, tremendous respect for the soldiers involved and deliberate and methodical pacing and storytelling. And the cast is absolutely riveting led by the underrated John Krasinski. While he is known mainly for his comedic performances Krasinski shows he has what it takes and more to be not only the lead in a film but a fearless and evocative dramatic actor. I sincerely hope her performance in this film makes other filmmakers take notice and start casting Krasinski in more dramatic roles. With 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Bay have proven he is more than a shallow popcorn movie director. While I love his action flicks and hope he continues to crank them out, I hope they are interspersed with more films like this. Highly recommended.