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13 Hours: Average Guy Movie Review


What could be called Michael Bay's Black Hawk Down has arrived on Blu-Ray and DVD (see trailer below). Based on the September 11th 2012 attack on the temporary diplomatic mission and CIA "Annex" in Benghazi, this is the story of the men assigned to protect them.

"none of you have to go"

Global Response Staff (GRS) are ex-military private security contractors hired by the CIA to protect Agents and Stations abroad. In Benghazi, the team was tasked with protecting a CIA station called the "Annex" and was made up of two former Navy Seals, three former US Marines and a former Army Ranger:
  • Tyrone 'Rone' Woods (James Badge Dale) a former Navy Seal
  • Jack Silva (John Krasinski) a former Navy Seal
  • Mark 'Oz' Geist (Max Martini) a former US Marine
  • John 'Tig' Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa) a former US Marine
  • Dave 'Boon' Benton (David Denman) a former US Marine
  • Kris 'Tanto' Paronto (Pablo Schreiber) a former US Army Ranger
Tyrone 'Rone' Woods

Glen 'Bub' Doherty

Just over a mile away from the Annex, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and a small security team were based in a temporary diplomatic mission. When the mission was attacked, the GRS team were the only ones in the country who could respond in time. Another GRS team led by Glen 'Bub' Doherty (Toby Stephens) deployed from Tripoli, but it would take them hours to get to Benghazi. Doherty was one of the Navy Seals responsible for rescuing Captain Phillips from Somali Pirates (as seen in the movie starring Tom Hanks). Throughout the night these men fought off several waves of attackers armed with AK-47's, RPG's and mortars.

Jack Silva

Michael Bay has delivered his first movie since 2013's Pain and Gain that didn't involve giant turtles or giant transforming robots. Without getting into politics, this feels like a story that should be told and as a fan of Bay's earlier work (excluding Pearl Harbor) I think he was a good choice to direct this movie. If there's one thing Bay's good at it's directing action, it's even better when he's doing it for a movie that isn't aimed at 12 year olds! This is definitely a movie that calls for big action, in order to demonstrate how much shit these people were in. For the most part it seems Bay has gone for accuracy and authenticity, focusing more on the events themselves and the people directly affected rather than getting lost in the bigger political mess. The crew went to great lengths to accurately recreate the Ambassador's diplomatic compound and the CIA Annex. They used the actual plans and satellite images of both compounds and worked with the real GRS guys who acted as consultants on the movie. There are some typical Bay-isms; anachronisms such as vehicles, computers, video games and weaponry that didn't exist at the time of the real event. Also our heroes are driving around in brand new armoured Mercedes when in reality they were driving armoured Toyota Land Cruisers, but Bay does like shiny, pretty things in his movies.

Dave 'Boon' Benton

There is some controversy over the "stand down" order. In the movie the CIA Station Chief is seen to give the GRS guys a "stand down" order, a story supported by testimonies of people on the ground. However, The Station Chief stated he never gave the order to "stand down", which was supported by the findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee. I wasn't there so I can't say either way and I don't want this to turn into a political debate. The important thing is that even though they didn't have to, these men went to help the Ambassador and DSS Agents trapped in the compound. Bay does a good job of showing this in the movie, Tyrone 'Rone' Woods tells them "none of you have to go, but we are the only help they have". Jack Silva later tells Rone; "you can't put a price on being able to live with yourself", which really demonstrates the mindset of these men. There was no debate, no 'should we or shouldn't we?' They just went.

Mark 'Oz' Geist

13 Hours is definitely a Michael Bay movie, he doesn't know how to make anything else. But I think this works in the movie's favour. Other Directors would have got caught up in the politics of the situation but Bay makes large scale action movies, he focused on the combat and what happened on the ground. Everyone involved in the making of this movie helped tell the story of a group of guys who stepped up, even though they didn't have to, some of whom made the ultimate sacrifice in order to save lives. And that's a story that should be told.

John 'Tig' Tiegen

Kris 'Tanto' Paronto

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