Thursday, September 22, 2016

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi 2016

     Based on a best-selling novel by Mitchell Zuckoff.  This film relates what happened at the US diplomatic compound and the Annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.  Many Islamic militants attacked both buildings.  Benghazi was named one of the most dangerous places in the world and many countries have closed their embassies.  The compound is not an official embassy but it has been kept open.  Less than a mile away is a CIA outpost called the Annex.  Private military contractors from Global Response Staff are assigned to protect the building and the people working there.  They are former military special operations personnel still doing this type of work but no longer active duty.  Jack Silva has been at Benghazi before and he is back on another tour.  There is political and social chaos in Benghazi and it is difficult for the GRS team to know who are militants and who are friendly to the US. 
     There are a lot of tense moments and a lot of shooting scenes.  Ambassador Stevens notices men taking pictures of the compound and he notifies security.  That night, a group of militants from Ansar al-Sharia begin an attack on the compound.  The local guards are working for $28 a day and they leave their posts.  This allows the attackers easy access to the building.  The Ambassador is told to get his bulletproof vest and immediately head to the safe room.
     This film has a LOT going on and everything has a very real feel.  The only advantage for the US is that the men are well trained, willing to put their lives on the line and not concerned about stepping on leadership toes if their plan doesn’t seem a good idea.  They have plenty of ammo, guns and infrared equipment to see the attackers in the dark.  They are doing a very good job until the militants up the attack with larger weaponry.  4* (I really liked this movie)

144 min, Action directed by Michael Bay with John Krasinski, Pablo Schreiber, James Badge Dale, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, Max Martini, Alexia Barlier, David Costabile, Peyman Moaadi, Matt Letscher, Toby Stephens, Demetrius Grosse, David Giuntoli, Kevn Kent, David Furr.

Note:  Imdb 7.3 out of 10, 51% critic 84% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Roger Ebert 1*, Amazon 4.8* out of 5* with 5836 reviews.
Special Note:  Filmed in Mosta, Malta and Morocco.  Michael Bay said he wanted to make this film because he has worked with military veterans in all of his films as actors and technical advisors.  Currently, the US does not have an Ambassador in Benghazi.  The US increased security worldwide at diplomatic and military facilities at the time of this event.  An investigation was conducted after this attack and the State Department was criticized for their denial of requests for added security prior to the attack and during the attack. 

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