13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi [2016] ★★½

13_hoursFirst the good news: this is better than most of Michael Bay’s movies (if not all). In paying tribute to the six American security operators who fought bravely during an attack by Islamic militants on September 11 2012 in Benghazi (that’s in Libya, just in case), Bay has managed to stage some pulse pounding action scenes that will surely satisfy fans of the genre. I can’t deny that Bay outdid himself this time around with some very impressive action sequences. But even these memorable scenes come at a price: having to sit through a long (144 minutes), unforgiving action movie that, like its director, doesn’t know when enough is enough (see the Transformers movies for more proof). I know that one doesn’t approach a movie like “13 Hours” expecting Shakespearean drama. And unlike similar movies, this one pretty much delivers what it promises: action, suspense and the usual message of pulling together at a time of crisis. Is the overall result a masterpiece? No. But for this kind of genre piece, it’s not bad. It all has to do with expectations. I expected another misfire from Mr. Bay, but I’m glad to say that I was pleasantly surprised.

Rating: 2.5/4

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