Paramount Pictures has released the new trailer for Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. The award-winning director teams up with actor John Krasinski, who you may recognize as Jim Halpert from The Office, to tell the tale of the 2012 attack on American diplomats, soldiers and citizens by Islamic militants.
The movie is based on Mitchell Zuckoff’s book of the same name that presents a moment-by-moment account of what happened within the embassy during the September 11, 2012 attack.
In the book, Mitchell tells the story of a group of private security officers who try to defend the trapped civilians in the American diplomatic compound located in Benghazi. The trailer notes their bravery, stating:
“When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right.”
During the real attack, four Americans were killed – Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods, Glen Doherty and U.S. Ambassador J Christopher Stevens. The film will focus on the chaos that is created after the militants kill the U.S. Ambassador.
With films like Transformers and The Island in his directing portfolio, Michael Bay will most likely put together an action-packed, visually pleasing take on the story. However, since this film is based on actual events, there is some concern over Bay directing it, as his last attempt at a based-on-a-true-story film Pearl Harbor ended up with a measly 25% favorability on Rotten Tomatoes. Hopefully with 13 more years of experience and plenty of successful examples in film (i.e. Zero Dark Thirty, American Sniper, etc.) since Pearl Harbor, Bay is able to pull this one off.
The trailer introduces Krasinski as Jack Silva, a member of the Navy, who comes to Benghazi prior to the attack to join five other men as security guards for the compound. All of the “Team” members are fathers, which emphasizes the courage they exhibited during the attack.
It seems the movie is setting up Kraisinski to take on a similar role to what Bradley Cooper played in the wildly successful film American Sniper. However, with Krasinski being most known for his humorous roles, like in The Office or The Muppets, it will be interesting to see him portraying a macho, brave character. Although the scruff he dons in the movie seems to be helping him get away with such a role.
Although the movie is being released early in 2016 and therefore not in the prime area for award consideration, it does hit theatres right around the time of the Iowa Caucuses, where Hilary Clinton is running as a democratic candidate for U.S. president.
This timing has many speculating that there will be some underlying narrative in the movie that will manage to point fingers at Hilary, former Secretary of State and her Department for not exercising proper precaution and doing everything in its power to prevent the horrible attack. Since the attack, Clinton has received much backlash as she reportedly gave a “stand down” order to military personnel in Libiya, which some believe was most likely what allowed for the fatalities of 4 Americans.
In an appearance on The Kelly Files, The Five co-host Dana Perino revealed that liberals are already gearing up to fight the influence this movie might have on voters, explaining, “The left and liberals are already so concerned about this movie that they’ve already put resources behind trying to tear it down.”
However, just from the trailer it is hard to establish whether the screenwriters and Bay will put any emphasis on the politics that surround the incident. Although if they do decide to do so, it wouldn’t be the first time that a film has impacted politics. This was seen after Zero Dark Thirty was released, which made it seem as though torture played a pivotal role in the death of Osama Bin Laden. Even with CIA’s chief publicly denouncing this Hollywood portrayal, the American public still has a more favorable view on torture and its effectiveness.
All in all, the film greatly resembles recent films based on similar events, and since many of those were greatly successful, I predict probably the same future for this one as well. The American public is rightfully curious about these events that greatly impacted their nation and its politics, however, they should be keeping in mind that these films are in no way a neutral portrayal.
The telling of the story has gone through filter-after-filter, each of which misconstrues the basic story to better fit either one’s own biases or what they feel will best suit the big screen.
So, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi looks like it will definitely deliver on action, as well as has the intrigue factor seeing that it is based on a well-known true story. However, audiences should be cautioned about just how much of its contents will be accurate and how much will be “movie magic.”
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Red Band Movie Trailer