"Courage Under Fire"
13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI is an almost great movie in the tradition of AMERICAN SNIPER and BLACK HAWK DOWN about American military standing against impossible odds, including their own clueless bureaucratic leaders.
The beginning of the movie introduces viewers one by one to a small group of former military personnel known as GRS hired by the CIA to protect an undercover, secret compound in Benghazi, Libya. Some of the ex-soldiers are former Marines, one is an Army Ranger and others are Navy Seals.
After this docu-drama footage of the military introducing themselves, Jack, a former Marine, lands in Benghazi and is picked up at the airport by another soldier, nicknamed Rone. On the way to the CIA compound, they’re trapped in an ambush. The CIA chief refuses to lift a finger to help them, but Rone talks their way out of it.
When he gets to CIA headquarters, Rone confronts the CIA chief, who tells him in no uncertain terms that the CIA and other Washington DC government bureaucrats are smart Harvard and Yale Ivy Leaguers, who should not be burdened with these Neanderthal ex-military bodyguards. The chief does everything to lord it over the paramilitary team.
He sends the team to prepare a nearby United States embassy outpost for the arrival of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, hired by the Obama administration to oversee things in Libya in the wake of the death and overthrow of Libyan leader Moamar Qaddafi. On their return to the CIA headquarters, the team tells the CIA chief that the nearby embassy outpost is indefensible.
On Sept. 11, 2012, a massive, well-coordinated Muslim terrorist attack occurs on the ambassador’s outpost. The chief refuses to let the military team go rescue the ambassador. Soon, however, Jack and Rone tell the chief they’re going whether he likes it or not. The chief is emblematic of the CIA, Pentagon and White House officials who prevaricate and debate while Benghazi is burning.
Eventually, the terrorist forces also attack the CIA compound. The numbers of terrorists and their weaponry is massive. At one point, one of the military men says, “This is the Alamo.” Of course, at the Alamo all the soldiers died; so, the question is: Can these Americans in Benghazi survive?
13 HOURS is a straight-ahead plot. It’s extremely pro-military conservative in the honor it pays to the military while questioning their bureaucratic superiors. The villain is clearly the Ivy League bureaucrats who run the U.S. government. They’ve become so effete and pseudo-intellectual that they’ve lost all contact with reality and all common sense.
The movie has one Christian character who discusses God at length, but another character is reading one of Joseph Campbell’s ridiculous New Age books, which have been refuted by MOVIEGUIDE® Editor Tom Snyder (see MYTH CONCEPTIONS at http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Conceptions-Joseph-Campbell-New/dp/0801083753/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452669393&sr=1-8&keywords=myth+conceptions). Regrettably, two other soldiers start quoting the Joseph Campbell stupidity that we are all gods. In addition, 13 HOURS has a tremendous amount of foul language, some of which contains locker room sexual discussions.
Despite this nod to paganism, 13 HOURS has a strong Pro-American, patriotic worldview. The former soldiers hired by the CIA for security protect their fellow soldiers and other Americans, honor their families, love their children, and yearn for their homes. They’ve taken these jobs because it’s the best way they know to earn money, but they consider their jobs to be a duty, not a burden.
There have been many movies with more violence, but 13 HOURS has two violent scenes that are very bloody, including one where a man’s arm has been nearly shot off and is badly spurting blood as it dangles from his side. The rest of the battle scenes are almost as intense and very suspenseful.
All in all, 13 HOURS is a conservative call to restore patriotism, common sense and values, but the negative content and the mixed belief systems of the heroes demand an extreme caution. The false theology from Joseph Campbell should be cut, as should most if not all of the foul language.
(PaPa, FRFR, CC, BB, PPP, PC, H, LLL, VVV, S, A, DD, M) Strong mixed worldview with a strong affirmation of many different points of view including a recitation of New Age Buddhist Joseph Campbell’s assertion that god and the gods are inside of us, nihilism, and reference to Karma, some strong Christian content (including one soldier who says he feels he’s protected by God and who prays for his fallen buddy), and Muslims and Muslim terrorists are shown as bad in general, although there are some good Muslims, and bravery, duty and sacrifice are extolled, love for family and children is extolled and patriotism is extolled and contrasted with politically correct humanism; lots of foul language includes more than 102 obscenities and 21 profanities and obscene middle finger; very intense battle violence including lots of shootings, mortar fire, burnings, explosions, one hero gets his arm shot to pieces, and it dangles and spurts blood, another hero’s stomach wounds spurt blood; no depicted sex or romance, but discussions of sexual acts, some of which are disgusting such as abusing the hat of a superior, and a video of two rabbits copulating, and a comment asking whether the sheep are copulating or the enemy is using the sheep as shields; no nudity; minor drinking; smoking hookahs; and, the soldiers exhibit loyalty and decency but the CIA officer representing the United States represents the callousness of humanism while Ambassador Stevens represents the goofiness of humanism.
13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI introduces viewers to a small group of former military personnel hired by the CIA to protect an undercover, secret compound in Benghazi, Libya. The CIA chief sends the team to prepare a nearby United States embassy outpost for the arrival of Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Back at the CIA headquarters, the team tells the CIA chief that the embassy outpost is indefensible. On Sept. 11, 2012, a massive, well-coordinated Muslim terrorist attack occurs on the ambassador’s outpost. The chief refuses to let the military rescue the ambassador, but the team eventually goes anyway. Will they survive?
Very well made, 13 HOURS has a straight-ahead plot. It’s extremely conservative. The villain is the pseudo-intellectual bureaucrats who control the U.S. government. One of the soldiers is a Christian, but another soldier spouts some pagan nonsense that’s repeated. 13 HOURS is a conservative call to restore patriotism and common sense. However, abundant foul language, bloody violence and the mixed belief systems demand an extreme caution. 13 HOURS is an almost great movie in the tradition of BLACK HAWK DOWN.