Friday, March 04, 2016


So Many Cliches 13 Hrs Are Not Enough

1.5 stars

Mini Review:

With all due respect to the soldiers and the ambassador who lost their lives in the vicious attacks at BenGhazi. But the film is full of cliches as read in Commando comics of yesteryear, and war film tropes you have seen ever since cinema was invented. Wait for it to show up on cable.

Main Review:

For thirteen hours eight soldiers on contract saved the secret CIA base no one was supposed to know exists, in a gunbattle to rival all gunbattles, these brave soldiers fought wave upon wave of gun totting, America hating, armed to the teeth locals. They got no air support from any of the American bases and no help from the local affiliates who were bribed and primed for such an attack.

This incident took place when Libya was just discovering life after Gaddafi. And what we see on screen is nothing short of a miracle. But this is not as savage as Black Hawk Down, or as sharp as Hurt Locker. This is a beautifully shot predictable film you have seen so many times.

The soldiers are gruff, rough and roguish, and yet they all have softer sides when they Skype with their families. You know the one soldiers with the cutest, chubbiest baby will die.

The Station Chief hates having these soldiers around because his CIA men and women are Harvard educated data analysts, and they don't want to be seen as participants in a conflict. You know he will be grateful when the soldiers he hates save his life.

There will be a gentle person not connected with the combat who will do heroic things. You know he or she will show extraordinary courage or add a bit of humor to the serious stuff that is happening in the movie.

There will be men who look like thugs and might just be the kingpin baddies. You know they will turn out to be 'friend' nor foe, and help soldiers.

The terrorists will be better equipped and the American soldiers will fight with clever tactics and win. You know you will facepalm at the obviousness of their 'clever' solution. 

There will be one nervous soldier who will do exactly the opposite of what is said to him. You know he will turn right when he's been told to go left. And also the Ambassador will be trapped in the strongroom... What good is a strongroom that can be set on fire?

There will be nervous soldier who will not find the right buttons to switch off when ordered. He will admit on the radio that he's nervous. You know it's a cheap tactic to keep you saying, 'Oh no!' and then at the last vital second he will find the right button to switch the lights off.

Even in deaths, there are so many cliches you would laugh had it not been a real story.

You know what the soldiers have faced in unknown parts of the world, fighting unknown people for causes that seem distant... You respect them. But the movie is too long drawn to earn any of that. Such a pity...  

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