St. Louis -Most movies are “based” on a true story but “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” is a true story. Before the film begins the real soldiers come on the screen and tell you that this is what really happened during the 13 hours of September 11, 2012. Fortunately, the film is not a political statement but a factual account of the bravery of a few good warriors who risked their lives to try to save the lives of others in the chaotic struggle against ISIS and ISIL.
American Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans are killed during an attack at a U.S. compound and at a CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya as a contracted security team for the CIA struggles to make sense out of the chaos. They don’t know who is friend or foe. All they know is that the odds of getting out of Libya alive are stacked against them as no help comes to their aid against overwhelming numbers of terrorists attacking the US property they defend.
John Krasinski stars as Jack Silva. Krasinski is most noted for his comic role of Jim Halpert on “The Office.” He is outstanding in this dramatic role. He made you feel the angst that a soldier must go through when faced by the enemy in war he didn’t expect.
Krasinski is supported by a strong cast: James Badge Dale is “Rone” Woods, Pablo Schreiber is “Tanto” Paronto, David Denman plays “Boone” Benton, Matt Lietscher is Ambassador Chris Stevens and the very recognizable character actor David Costabile portrays CIA chief “Bob.” The only woman in the cast is Alexia Barlier who is Sona Jillani, a CIA analyst caught in the destruction.
Michael Bay directed. Bay is known for his work as Director of the “Transformer” series and for the war epic, “Pearl Harbor.”
The screenplay was written by Chuck Hogan based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff, “13 Hours: the Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi.” Both the book and the screenplay were written in collaboration with the five surviving security soldiers.
This is a powerful movie. I was glued to my seat throughout the entire film even though I would have loved to have gotten up and used the restroom; but, I was afraid I would miss something. The action was non-stop through the entire two and a half hour production.