Came for the Bayhem. 13 Hours has some pretty great stretches when it operates as a siege film, relying on nothing more than the tension of potential gunfire and attack. Eyes squinting into the crosshairs of weapons, night vision landscapes, shadows striking across the walls of bombed out streets – these are things that give this movie life. Not to mention the fallout when bullets actually fly and chaos ensues. Bay is in his element and, yep, I got what I came for.
However, as soon as the characters have to talk for extended periods and the CAPS LOCK RENDERED pro-military chest beating takes over it becomes far less engaging. Overlong, too reliant on cliche for creating sympathetic characters and just too heavy handed in its message, 13 Hours comes with all the pros and cons of your typical Michael Bay affair. On the plus side, it’s nice to see him direct actual flesh and blood actors again rather than packed frames of digital autobots. Good for a Friday night if you want to keep things simple and LOUD.