Box o’ Rando: 13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016)

Rating: 0/10

Based on a true story, this film chronicles the tale of a small group of American soldiers stationed in Benghazi during an attack on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. This group of soldiers must move in to save their fellow Benghazi soldiers before they’re overrun.

Okay, I’ll say straight up I don’t really like War Films, especially ones like this that aim to glorify war and feel more like they’re just over-budgeted army recruitment videos. I’ll also mention I don’t like Michael Bay films, I feel he too easily falls into every cliche he can when it comes to storytelling, and the only thing he’s really any good at is directing action scenes. There is a lot of action but this film also has a lot of character development, especially early on, which is not Michael Bay’s strong suit in any way, and it just bogs down on what probably would have been a decent war story if not for all the unrealistic, self-insert, hero-complex American main characters.

Though this movie starts off with the statement “This is a True Story” as if this is going to be the ultimate in realism or something. But I can’t imagine these soldiers talked to each other in just a non-stop stream of cliches as these soldiers do, or that what happened to them was essentially just an over-blown action movie. Combat doesn’t look like this. If an explosion happens close enough to you it can knock you over, chances are you have burns and damage to your eardrums, BECAUSE EXPLOSIONS ARE LOUD! SO IS GUNFIRE!

Anyway, this felt like it might have been a decent movie had Michael Bay not directed it. It felt like it could have been a realistic movie about how dangerous war can be, but instead it’s just about as standard as an action-war film can be.

SCORING:

+2: I guess the action scenes are okay…

-1: oh, except that none of it feels real, and all of it is secretly a recruitment film

-1: Also the story sucks