On Sept. 11, 2012, Islamic militants attack the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, an officer for the Foreign Service.
Stationed less than one mile away are members (James Badge Dale, John Krasinski, Max Martini) of the Annex Security Team, former soldiers assigned to protect operatives and diplomats in the city. As the assault rages on, the six men engage the combatants in a fierce firefight to save the lives of the remaining Americans.
“Ramz” – I walked into the cinema knowing absolutely nothing about this film. A few minutes in, I expected the usual anti-Islamic propaganda and American bravado. A few minutes later I could see the usual Michael Bay tropes. All that being said, I actually enjoyed this movie.
Surprisingly, the anti-Islamic propaganda is kept to a minimum and the film rather focuses on the fact that these soldiers are in a place they don’t really want to be in, protecting politicians/CIA agents who don’t care about them. They are victims of circumstance (read “the jobs they chose to do”), trying to make a living for their families.
It starts off slightly different from the usual “protecting the American way of life” crap but soon goes into that too familiar plot. I’ll forgive Michael Bay for using cheap tactics to get an emotional response out of his audience. The man gave us Bad Boys and The Rock, he gets a free pass from me most of the time. I didn’t like the fact that the film sells itself as a docu-drama based on a true story. This is an action movie, plain and simple. And it works as just that. If we go into the details of this being the true story of the soldiers who fought in the 2012 Benghazi attacks, I could nitpick and draw attention to the plotholes that make the script look like a piece of cheese from an old Tom & Jerry cartoon. As an action movie though, it works.
This is not the same Michael Bay who jerked off to exploding robots, splooged over your face and stole your money when he tricked you into watching that Transformers crap with a cool trailer. This is the Michael Bay who gave us Armageddon. Every shot of the protagonists paint them as messiahs, action scenes get your heart racing and bromances are cool enough to make you ignore the homoerotic soldier-boy broners these badasses have for each other. The heroes speak in one-liners and the villains speak in blood-curdling screams when they are shot in the head. I know that doesn’t make any sense, surely you don’t scream after being shot in the head with an assault rifle, but this is a Michael Bay movie and you need to leave the laws of physics and biology at the door.
All in all, it was fun, not bad, but ultimately, forgettable. The next time I watch it will probably be when it plays on TV and the Sony channel has stopped playing the Friends re-runs. Michael Bay / 10
“Storm” – Having never seen a trailer, I was quite apprehensive about how the Benghazi attack would be adapted as a screenplay. I was dreading a documentary style, polarized depiction of an attack on an American outpost.
Not only has 13 hours succeeded in tastefully transforming a very controversial topic into an outstanding movie but to my delight (and the biggest coupe) doing so without painting all muslims with the same brush, making a clear distinction between extremists and ordinary Libyan citizens.
The movie distinguishes itself from the usual war picture by making the lead characters highly relatable and showing their humanity ensuring that we never forget this happened to real people. The story leaves you spellbound, hanging on every moment and in the end confirms what we all know to be true: that there are no winners in war.
Best movie I’ve seen this year. 9/10
“The Chairman” – A refreshingly good action movie for the much miligned Micheal Bay, who has toned down his American propaganda machine to deliver this thoroughly entertaining movie.
You get to build a great emotional bond with the leading cast, especially John Krasinski (I can see why he was considered for the role of Captain America) who is known more for comedic roles really brings heart and physicality to the role that so far removed from his role on the Office (US).I see his career going in the same way as Chris Pratt….buff up and go action hero!
The movie handles the birth of ISIS in the region with great care and sensitivity by not painting everyone of the muslim faith as terrorists, this is my biggest surprise given how Michael Bay handle true events…..I am looking at you Pearl Habour! Very few American flags for a Michael Bay film.
I would definitely recommend this movie, especially fans of the Rock and Bad Boys. 8/10
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