13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Bengahzi

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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Bengahzi

Michael Bay doing a based-on-a-true-story war movie should be a no-brainer in more ways than one, and it’s fair to say that this features both a lot of impressive action sequences and not a great deal of insight into the causes of those action sequences.

Focusing on a small group of independent military contractors – let’s just call them mercenaries – working as guards for the CIA in the strife-torn Libyan city of Bengahzi in 2012, Bay focuses on combat. When a US compound is breached by a heavily armed group (then again, everyone is heavily armed in Bengahzi) the six man squad is sent in to try and rescue the US Ambassador, and one very busy night follows. Bay knows how to present action and there are some thrilling sequences in here (the night time car chase here is a classic), but as a film the whole thing is so one-note that it’s hard to become emotionally involved. The mercs are all badasses of the “shut up and get out of our way” variety, the bad guys are mown down by the dozen (and make some pretty basic errors), and… that’s about it. At least the notoriously patriotic Bay only puts two American flags in this one.

Reviewed by Anthony Morris