Director Michael Bay setting the opening scene http://www.wsj.com
Michel Bay is well known for his action films such as Pearl Harbor and the never ending Transformers. 13 Hours certainly falls in that genre with continuous action and lots of explosions.
The script was written from the book with the survivors telling their story. The film focuses on the hours leading up to the US Consulate attack by Libyan radical Islamists . The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi were Americans who had trained with elite branches of the US military and now were hired as contractors. They were not paid by our government but by some shadowy company only referred to in initials.
Our government ignored many requests to fortify the consulate in the days and weeks before the attack, to no avail as well as numerous requests for assistance during the attack. The “secret soldiers” were under the CIA annex chief only referred to as Bob. The CIA has taken issue with some of the details of the film and not surprisingly. Bob and the lack of support by the CIA during the battle is not flattering. Now that the film is out, Bob is retired and out of reach of comments. He was exceedingly disdainful of the macho, focused security soldiers.
The story is reenacted from the point of view of the secret soldiers. Secretary Clinton is never mentioned. It did not seem to be a political film and not a documentary but just an account of past history. The audience has to decide questions about the government’s reaction and action in the story.
To me, it was clear that the men were heroes, without dispute. Director Bay presents a picture of a battle complete with confusion and chaos as the soldiers fought for their lives and those of their buddies at many times not being able to identify their enemy.
PS A little personal aside. During the film, David whispered , “Why is there a church in there?” Well, sure enough watching the credits we discovered that it was filmed in Malta where there are lots of churches and with the density of buildings, removing it wouldn’t work.
Four brave Americans lost their lives during these 13 Hours, Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, and Navy Seals Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty