13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

First Hit:  Possibly adds a bit more light on the problem and fiasco of the 4 American citizens, including an Ambassador, who died on September 11, 2012 in Benghazi.

This film focuses on the group of CIA security contractors who volunteered on their own to try to save the US Libyan Benghazi Embassy, beloved Ambassador Christopher J. Stevens (Matt Letscher), and their team from being overrun by Islamic Militants.

The hidden CIA compound was less than a mile away from the Embassy and when the Embassy was being overrun. The only help that seemed forthcoming was from this group of contractors who were told by the Chief CIA operative Bob (David Costabile) not to help the Ambassador for fear of exposing the CIA compound.

As the attack began there was no immediate support from other parts of the US government and the film doesn’t do much to clarify why there was little support for the Ambassador and his team. There is reference to a broadcast that the uprising started with a reaction to a video but only as a tangential point.

One thing that was made clear was that neither the Embassy team nor the CIA crew knew what local citizen or group of locals they could trust. At one moment someone was friendly, in the next the person was assisting the plot to overrun the compounds.

The film focuses on the team of six contractors, their relationships with each other, the CIA Chief, and their families back home. One of the operatives, Jack Silva (John Krasinski) left is wife and two daughters home again to risk his life with his friends in a war torn country. Why?

That is part of the question the film attempts to answer. He struggles financially with viable work when home, but realizes, especially when he finds out his wife is pregnant again, if he gets out of Benghazi alive, he needs to go home and stay home.

This film is about the trust each of the contractors have for their fellow fighters. This film is also about how the lack of support by the US Government in this critical situation was abominable.

Krasinski was very strong as a standup guy, soldier, friend, and father. As the team: James Badge Dale as Tyrone “Ron” Woods was perfect as a supportive solider. Pablo Schreiber as Kris “Tanto” Paronto was wonderful as well. David Denman as Dave “Boon” Benton was very good. Dominic Fumusa as John “Tig” Tiegen was ideal as part of the team. Max Martini as Mark “Oz” Geist was ideal as another member. Costabile was very strong as the CIA veteran who wanted to play by the book. Chuck Hogan wrote a strong screenplay. Michael Bay did a great job of creating the confusion that surrounded the events of the situation in Benghazi.

Overall:  I liked the focus of this film, which was on the team and their support of each other.