As far as Michael Bay movies go, ’13 Hours’ is a decent effort. The characters are based on real people, so they should have been better developed that they were in the movie. They were mostly cardboard characters, and that doesn’t really honor the victims of the Benghazi attack. After the movie was over, I didn’t feel like I had any better understanding or knowledge of the characters than I could get from skimming headlines. That’s not a good thing at all. The characters in the movie were considerably less obnoxious than characters in the ‘Transformers’ movies, but that’s a really low bar. It was good to see John Krasinski get a chance to stretch a little bit. He does a decent job, even though his role is thin (and he’s the main character). His character has a wife and daughter (who squeal a lot). He has a history and friendship with the other special ops soldiers protecting the CIA base. There is also a woman who is some sort of undercover agent. She has a side story early in the movie that does nothing but add to the runtime.
There is also a problem with editing. Most of the movie feels like Bay way running around with a hand help camera and shooting random things. Then he took random pieces of film, threw them up in the air and randomly picked them up and spliced them together. There seems to be very little coherent thought into the transitions between scenes or even between shots. The events unfold in a very careless and sloppy manner. Again, as this is based on true events that have been continuously in the news for the past few years, there is no reason why Michael Bay could put more thought and care into the shooting and editing. I really wish that he could make movies like ‘The Rock’ again. Heck even ‘Bad Bays’ or ‘Armageddon.’ At least those movies were fun and there was some decent character development. The finished product of ’13 Hours’ really made it feel like a cash grab that exploited a tragedy.
’13 Hours’ is still playing at the Rave by the Dayton Mall this week. There are plenty of other movies much more worth the time though. John Krasinski is at least taking a step in the right direction. I hope he gets some better roles soon. ’13 Hours’ will probably be more worth watching when it comes on TV or Netflix, it’s not really worth the effort to see in the theater or pop a DVD or BluRay into a player. That’s too bad because the trailer looked pretty good, but then so did the trailer for ‘Hail Caesar!’