13 HOURS: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi…a movie review by Toni Susskind

February 23, 2016 by Toni Susskind
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Directed by Michael Bay of Transformers fame, 13 hours attempts to retell the attack on a visiting US diplomat and a CIA compound that did not officially exist in Libya in 2012.The fast paced tone of the movie is set from the start, when the narrator explains that Benghazi Libya is the most dangerous place on Earth and the film is a retelling of true events.

Unfortunately Bay focuses purely on a retelling of the violence, rather than explaining why it occurred. As a result, the Libyan Militia and allied soldiers are portrayed in strictly two-dimensional terms, with no attempt at building depth or character analysis.

There is a greater attempt at fleshing out the roles of the Americans, with a focus on the 6 ex Navy Seals who are hired to protect the CIA compound, specifically John Krasinski as a war veteran who returns to the conflict for the 12th time. However, as much as he tries, Bay still fails to create anything more than partially evolved characters.

The result is that 13 hours is a “Holywoodised” movie. It often falls back onto the standard “us versus them” mentality and leaves the audience wondering whether the film is striving to describe a conflict, or entertain its audience with patriotic violence.

If taken as face value, 13 hours is an enjoyable, shoot ’em up bad guys versus good guys movie. The Americans are the cowboys, whilst the Libyans are the Indians. No need to understand why.

Rating –R 

Run Time- 2 hours, 24 minutes

Release date- 25/2/16

Rating  3.5/5


2 Responses to “13 HOURS: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi…a movie review by Toni Susskind”
  1. Armando Lopez jr says:

    I love your accuracy like how you said they were 6 X Navy SEALs when acually two of them or next ex Navy SEALs three were former Marines and when was a former army ranger.

    Then you criticize the movie for not doing what you want to do when it was never the intent of the book which is a tell the story of the men on the ground not to try to explain the geopolitical situation.

    You review is frankly a joke I’m not even sure you watched the movie based on it and you probably never read the book either and you should probably not be a film critic

    • Toni Susskind says:

      Hi Armando,
      Thank you for pointing out the factual errors regarding my description of the 6 men. That will be rectified as soon as possible.

      As for the review, at JWire we reserve the right to review a movie as we see fit.

      Toni Susskind

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