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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
BLU-RAY disk
07.19.2016 By: Chris Bumbray
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi order download
Director:
Michael Bay

Actors:
James Badge Dale
John Krasinski

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The true story of a security team of six American security contractors in Benghazi who fought to defend an American diplomatic compound against a terrorist attack on September 11th, 2012.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
While his four (soon to be five) TRANSFORMERS movies have made him obscenely wealthy, the downside of Bayís success with that franchise is that his once-promising career as a next-gen action director ground to a halt. I donít care how many hundreds of millions of dollarsí worth of CGI is up there on the screen, no amount of autobot action will ever compare to the lean and mean thrills of THE ROCK, BAD BOYS, or even the bonkers-nuts, but fun, BAD BOYS 2.

Thatís why, 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI was actually high on my must-see list for 2016, as it marked a return to more realistic action for Bay. Unapologetically jingoistic (not not overly politicized), despite a significantly lower budget than usual, thereís plenty of Bay-hem on display here, with him telling a heroic, fact-based story anchored by an against-type action performance by The Officeís John Krasinski as a former Navy SEAL doing private security for a CIA outpost in Libya.

While some of the characterizations are one-note, the action is never anything less than impressive. Krasinski is terrific, but the show is stole by James Badge Bale, hulked-out into SEAL-shape, as real-life Benghazi hero Tyrone S. Woods. Some of the setpieces are pretty amazing despite this only cost about 1/5th of what the last TRANSFORMERS did, but Bay got a lot of bang for his buck. While the second half is pretty much non-stop carnage, Bay does manage to wring out a few solid, human moments Ė such as a clever bit where Kransinski almost loses a contact lens before going in to battle.
THE EXTRAS
For the Record: Finding the Truth Amid the Noise: A short (8 min) mini-doc examining this history behind the Benghazi attack, along with some of the aftermath. Short but interesting.

Uncovering Benghazi's Secret Soldiers: Far superior to the usual Blu-Ray epk, this examines the people the movie was based on and includes interviews with real-life security personnel like the ones depicted in the movie. Pretty interesting stuff.

Preparing for Battle: Behind the Scenes of 13 Hours: A half-hour look at the making of the movie. Standard fare, but well-crafted. It's always fun to see Bay at work.

Operation: 13 Hours Premiere: A quick look at the film's world premiere in Arlington, Texas.

In Memoriam: A tribute montage of the people who died during the Benghazi attack.

The set also includes a Digital HD copy, a DVD version and the special features are housed on a separate disc, maximizing the A/V presentation on the feature, something I haven't seen for awhile.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
13 HOURS isnít quite the triumphant return to real-world action that I expected for Bay, but nonetheless it proves he still has the chops to tell a strictly earthbound story and if the next Transformers really is his last, we may be treated to an intriguing new chapter of his career Ė which is nicely teased here.
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1:45PM on 07/19/2016

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