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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (9/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 144 minutes.

Not for children.

Even if you get all your information from the mainstream media, you have heard about Benghazi. What you probably know is that Ambassador Chris Stephens (Matt Letscher) and three defense contractors were murdered in an assault on a U.S. mission building and that Hillary Clinton dismissed it as “What difference does it make?” and, if you follow Judicial Watch at all or watched the House Select Committee Hearings on Benghazi, that she blatantly lied about it, and that she and Obama sent U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice out to all five Sunday interview TV shows five days later to spread the lie that the attack was caused by outrage over a video instead of the planned attack this movie shows it to have been. And, finally, you might know that the Obama Administration didn’t lift a finger to save its Ambassador; in fact officials directly under Hillary and Obama, a character named Bob (David Costabile, who gives a terrific performance) ordered people who were ready, willing, and able to go, to “stand down.”

But what you probably don’t know, I certainly didn’t, was how vicious the fighting was.

This is an apolitical film that never mentions Hillary or Obama, and devotes itself exclusively to the brutality of the fighting. Director Michael Bay, who was in constant contact with the men who lived what he was filming, told Bill O’Reilly, “The politics got in the way of this great human story that happened. This is to honor these types of men who do this every day, who put themselves in harm’s way. That’s what this movie is about. It was a rough, rough hell night. A lot of stuff that you see in the movie, like a guy losing a contact on the way to a gunfight, the little things we put in the movie, the jokes they said that night, the emotions they were talking about that night; we tried to be very accurate and keep it within a two hour movie.”

It is a hard 2+ hours to sit through, knowing what we know, but it never lags for a second. What makes it more gripping than watching a Batman movie is that it is all 100% accurate, based on the book, “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” by Mitchell Zuckoff. This is one of the more realistic depictions of battle ever filmed. And none of the men fighting to save the Ambassador, Jack Silva (John Krasinski), Tyrone “Rone” Woods (James Badge Dale), Dave “Boon” Denton (David Denmon), Kris “Tonto” Peronto (Pablo Schreiber), John “Tig” Tiegen (Dominic Fumusa), Glen "Bub" Doherty (Toby Stephens), and Mark “Oz” Geist (Max Martini) were in the U.S. Armed Forces. Mostly former SEALs, they were independent contractors, but they all put their lives on the line to save an Ambassador and his staff who worked for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, despite the latters’ refusal to send aid. All of the actors give exceptional performances.

The film graphically captures all the gun fighting and the bombs, and the uncertainty of the fight because it was all done in the dark of night without really knowing what was going on and where the fighting was coming from. Worse, they kept expecting help that never came.

The only thing political about this totally non-political film are the questions it raises about why the President of the United States and his Secretary of State, who knew the cause and severity of the attack, refused to provide help, then lied about it for a week, and continue to lie about their lies.

Finally, kudos to Paramount, a major studio, who brings this movie, which is anathema to the Democrats responsible for the disgrace that has come to be known as “Benghazi,” with wide distribution to a mass audience.