It must be said: When it comes to movie directors that are maligned in Hollywood, one of the top names that comes to mind is Michael Bay.
There is no denying that Bay has been trashed by film critics and moviegoers for years, the latter of which had often criticized him for “ruining Transformers.” However, Bay has shown in the past that he could do more than Hollywood blockbuster films. One example in particular was 2013’s Pain & Gain, which was a based on a real-life incident from 1995.
13 Hours, the latest film from Bay, was released on Jan. 15. That’s as far from the summer movie season as you could be, unlike a lot of his other films. This film is based on the incident that occurred in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012, when Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compound, which later led to another attack that involved six security operators to battle the militants.
This movie is a far cry from what is expected from Michael Bay, as not only are there no gigantic robots involved, but there is also no immature humor. In fact, this movie is rather humorless as there is a lot of grittiness to be found in this film.
I will say is that the movie started off a little slow. A lot of the first hour introduced the people who were involved in the mission and the compound that they stayed at in Libya. Things started picking up when it got to the part when it was set on the exact day of Sept. 11, 2012.
Now this was not really an action movie. Sure, shootouts and explosions did occur as a lot of them do in other films from the director, but they were not done in a way to thrill the audience, but rather to show the audience the dangers what these people had gone through.
This movie was not without flaws either. It felt like there was a lot of shaky cam when watching it, as the frames did not keep still at times. Also, it would have been better if there was more detail in some sequences to see what had gone on, as opposed to various cuts from one perspective to another. Another part that made the film a little more over-the-top than necessary was when a missile was launched and the frame was shown on the perspective of the missile right before it hit its target. It was minor use of CGI, so it was not too bad but it could have done without the first-person perspective of a rocket-propelled grenade.
This movie has to be one of the more mature films that Bay has ever directed. It was a decent film that could have been better in some areas, but it was also good to see that Bay could also do gritty films and this was a good example.