You probably expected this movie to be a piece of crap. Based on the title alone, you assumed that this movie would be nothing more than flag-waving yee-haw propaganda designed to troll Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Well, it is that. But it’s so much more. 13 Hours is worse than you ever imagined. This movie is the most egregious piece of shit to hit cinema screens since John Travolta’s Scientology epic Battlefield Earth (2000).
You see, 13 Hours isn’t a movie based on the kind of wingnut meme your crazy uncle posts to his Facebook page. That movie was called God’s Not Dead (2014) and it kinda sucked also. 13 Hours is so bad it’s based on a parody of a wingnut meme. It’s a travesty of a sham of a mockery of a wingnut meme. In short, 13 Hours is Marine Todd: The Motion Picture.
Like all good movies, 13 Hours begins with some onscreen text explaining the backstory, to save the director the trouble of actually having to film a montage. The text is in one of those fonts that looks like it came out of Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed, and is an appropriate start for a movie that is apparently aimed at 12-year-olds. Next up we see John Krasinski – Jim from The Office! – arriving in Libya. We know he is a good guy because he has a beard, acts stoic, and is a security contractor, like all the other good guys (The bad guys have government jobs, Harvard degrees, and piss themselves at the first sign of trouble). After various characters explain the backstory to the audience for a second or third time, the action starts.
The attack on the CIA compound is a decent enough Alamo-style action sequence, not up to Blackhawk Down (2001) standards, but close enough. Unfortunately, Michael Bay doesn’t just let the action speak for itself, but feels the need to underline every point a few times. So we have to see all the bad government bureaucrats flounce around in pink tutus shrieking in fear while the manly men do their stuff. And since this is more of a Republican propaganda piece than an action movie, various previously unseen characters (shot of heavily armed dudes) have to announce that they’re Good to Go (shot of waiting helicopters), if those damn bureaucrats (shot of White House exterior) would just turn them loose. Of course there is a Stand Down Don’t Rescue The Ambassador order put in place by an unnamed Secretary of State. So the heroic security contractors, who all have adorable daughters just starting kindergarten, or are two weeks away from retirement, have to do all the heavy lifting themselves. The Ambassador isn’t rescued, but he didn’t have a beard and is something of a pussy, so it really doesn’t matter, the end.
By the conclusion of the movie, fewer Americans are dead than die in traffic accidents in a bad weekend in East Bumfuck, Vermont. But, like Whitewater, the previous nothingburger of a story that the wingnuts turned into a years-long investigation, Benghazi has been seared onto impressionable minds by cynical politicos looking for any excuse to bring down a Clinton. And by Michael Bay, who should be in filmmaker prison for The Transformers franchise anyway.