After directing the last four Transformers films, Michael Bay is attempting a blood-and-grit story next. The director — known for heroes with swagger, kinetic action, CGI wizardry and multiple product placements — is out with the first trailer of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.
The film is based on Michtell Zuckoff’s book which tells the story of the six members of a security team that fought to save the lives of Americans stationed at the embassy in Benghazi, Libya when it came under attack on the 11th anniversary of 9/11 attack. The Paramount film stars Pablo Schreiber, John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, David Denman, Max Martini and Dominic Fumusa.
The book’s description says, “13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account, never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that now-infamous attack.”
US ambassador J Christopher Stevens, US foreign service information management officer Sean Smith and CIA contractors Tyrone S Woods and Glen Doherty were killed in the attack.
State department officials were later criticised for refusing requests for added security at the compound and Hillary Clinton, as the secretary of state at that time, accepted the responsibility for the attacks.
The film comes at a politically-charged moment when Clinton is running for the President and Benghazi attack can be a hot-button issue during the 2016 US presidency race. The trailer also hints at how the attack was mishandled by those in power and the limited security.
However, 13 Hours has all the hallmarks of a Bay film and its political ramifications, if any, seem to be limited. The trailer does work in terms of action. It begins with a sense of menace which gradually builds up till the attack actually happens. Unabashedly patriotic, the trailer is about American heroes who saved American lives, or die fighting for American pride. Even the tagline emphasises on the point, “When everything went wrong, six men had the courage to do what was right.”
The film will miss the Oscar rush by a whisker and releases on January 15, 2016.