Monday, January 25, 2016

Review of "13 Hours"

PolitiJim has convinced me to write a review of "13 Hours", which I saw just before the massive snowstorm hit my area this weekend.  I'm generally a fan of war/action movies such as "We Were Soldiers" and "Black Hawk Down" so I walked into "13 Hours" expecting something of about the same quality, especially given it's a Michael Bay movie who has made out a career out of military related action scenes in movies such as "Transformers" and even "Pearl Harbor" (the attack scene in that one was done really well).

I have to say, I was slightly disappointed.  I'm not saying it isn't a good movie, because it is, I think my expectations were too high.  Also, at 2 hours and 24 minutes, it was slow in parts and well, boring.  While the length may have been due to a desire to tell the whole story, I think it's also a function of people not being able to say "no" to Michael Bay at this point in his career.  If he wants a scene or sequence in the movie, he gets it.  I think another reason why this movie didn't blow me away is the budget of $50 million, which is paltry for an action movie.  Just for reference, Black Hawk Down cost $92 million to make and that was 15 years ago!  So I think that meant that they had to skimp on some "shock and awe" special effects sequences.

Okay, enough of the complaints and onto what I actually liked about the movie.  It did show the dedication of a group of contractors who really didn't have to do what they did and who definitely did not get the recognition they deserved by our armed forces because they were technically non-military.  It showed them as ordinary family men who were sacrificing a lot to be in a God-forsaken part of the world.  It also made it very clear that hours and hours went by and nobody anywhere lifted a finger to help them.  Given the extensive air support that was used in the "Black Hawk Down" incident 20 years earlier, it's just unfathomable that no help could come to a group of soldiers, diplomats and spies just south of Europe.  It also made clear that we really got ZERO benefit from being in Libya at all.  Will pro-Hillary folks walk out of this movie hating her for what she did?  I doubt it.  They will probably blame the military higher ups for not doing anything as there was really almost no mention of the civilians above them. 

Anyway, I'd say it was a decent movie but it had some flaws and I probably won't be watching it much again.  However, I would support it to be required viewing for any politician talking about nation-building in Syria or whatever POS place (I'm looking at you Rubio).

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