Not since 2001’s “Black Hawk Down” has there been a film that captures modern combat so well as the new film by Director Michael Bay, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”.
Much like that earlier film by Ridley Scott, depicting a similar incident in recent history, “13 Hours” is the tale of Americans isolated in a North African city, desperately fighting for their lives without the support and reinforcement from home they require.
As a former Special Forces Operator, I both love such films and tend to judge them critically. With any film in which the viewer has a deep familiarity of the subject matter, one can’t help but notice flaws in the narrative or details. It’s both a blessing and a curse to know too much about the subject; and I go to every war movie prepared to be disappointed, and to make allowances for minor mistakes.
But with “13 Hours“, there were no moments that made me mentally “wince”. Instead, from the opening to the end I was riveted to the screen; and at no time did my finely-tuned “bullshit meter” go off.
Benghazi survivor John “Tig” Tiegen shows actor Dominc Fumusa (who portays “Tig” in the film) how to handle his weapon. The film’s realism comes from the presence of these veterans on set
Since “Black Hawk Down“, there have been a handful of movies similar in style and subject: “We Were Soldiers” (2002), “Act of Valor” (2012), and “Lone Survivor” (2013). All shared the same theme: American fighting men put into deadly peril without proper support…