13 Hours (2016) – All the Gods Are Within You

Genre: Action, Drama, History, Thriller, War
Director: Michael Bay
Writer: Chuck Hogan

Michael Bay is one of the directors because of his unique trademark. Therefore, people always refer to his movies as Bayhem. Bayhem is a term resembles various explosions, over patriotism, and other things you can think of from the Michael Bay. But, “13 Hours” changed my image of this phenomenal director thanks to this film. Widely considered because of its political elements. Various kinds of people trying to criticize this film from such a view. Regardless of which, this is a remarkable movie by Michael Bay. Indeed, many of these films have a drama of slow-motion scenes, explosions, more explosions, and patriotism. However, Bay pulled off as if he listens to his critics and his fans.

Sure, Michael Bay in the past worked on various other remarkable films. They were “Transformers” (not counting the franchise), “The Rock”, and “Bad Boys”. One of them is as well “13 Hours” which is based on a book by Mitchell Zuckoff. It’s about American soldiers who have to face 13 hours of hell in Benghazi. Sounds self-explanatory for the title. A militant group suddenly attacked the American embassy and intelligence service headquarters. The problem began when there was no air support. Enter American forces to rescue dozens of CIA employees and American security forces trapped in the city of Benghazi.

The movie starts with the fall of a former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, which it’s using real and movie footages. After taking power for more than 40 years, western allies, opposition militias, anti-Gaddafi, and his own country finally ousted him. We know the story. After the fall of Gaddafi, Libya itself became a country of emptiness. Makes it as one of the ISIS provinces today. The militias that overthrew Gaddafi came to power and became a local ruler in every region of Libya. They carry weapons given by western security forces as well as weapons from the former Gaddafi regime. On the other hand, America still has a CIA headquarters in Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya after Tripoli. They tried to control the groups and track down weapons so as not to fall into the wrong group.

To safeguard America’s security and the CIA could work, they hired a security contractor service. They consisting of former American elite forces. The majority of them also came from the Navy Seal named Global Response Staff. The drill is, the six members of the GRS go to secure all activities in Benghazi. John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, Pablo Schreiber, David Denman, Dominic Fumusa, and Max Martini are elite groups. They bought weapons on the black market. Finally, they got a special assignment to help secure the US ambassador, Chris Stevens.

We know the beginning of everything. There was a protest because of an anti-Islamic film but hell began on the night of September 11, 2012. The anti-American militia, February 17th Martyrs Brigade, began attacking the military, which was arguably minimal. The Americans in Benghazi began to falter when they were overtaken. CIA headquarters that have GRS forces may provide assistance to intervene. However, this rescue mission against American personnel and the Ambassador isn’t a guarantee if one of them would be dead. 13 hours from night to morning, US must survive this full wave attack.

Because of the enormity of this film, I almost fell asleep. It just too long for a war film like this. But, what exactly do I expect? It’s a Michael Bay movie. I can watch “Pearl Harbor” on one night with a duration of more than three hours. Apart from that, Michael Bay’s distinctive style of directing isn’t lost on the films he once directed. Blending a true story into a blockbuster movie, this film, like his other films, became a mainstream popcorn spectacle. The construction of the real events of the battle in Benghazi is also not something you want to watch. If you want something like what war really was or something like that, this is not for you. The strong Hollywood element lies in how Bay can direct it all.

Unlike the films he has directed, Michael Bay here, on the other hand, directed a remarkable film. Even I myself wasn’t a fan. He is able to direct which one is an entertainment and which one is worth telling. It’s as if he doesn’t only want to make this film an ordinary popcorn film. However, he was able to make tribute and honorarium from the real story and the people who fought in it. I even really laughed when I saw John Krasinski in this film. The image in “The Office” seems to not be lost other than being a geeky, awkward, and friendzone himself. But, we know that as well.

Overall, “13 Hours” is a good recommendation from the genre itself which is based on a true story. He “selling” its story of history and biography through fighting in Libya. It certainly became an insight into the global war crisis. I don’t know why I say this but that’s what Michael Bay did. Apart from not overly thinking too much about its political elements, it’s not really such the case. It’s about how those people who participated in 13 hours hell. Being a small example for both parties. So, just enjoy that shaky cam and excessive editing of this film.