Known for big-budget explosions, fast edits, and anti-authority warriors (be they cops, self-sacrificing oil drillers, or Transformers), Bay once again glorifies big guns over big minds. Despite claims that 13 Hours isn't a political film, the movie clearly takes the position that the people in the ambassador's State Dept.-issued security detail were a bunch of amateurs with "less than a dozen years of military experience between them" and that "Bob" was antagonistic and, worse, an elitist who thought the ex-military crew was only good for working out, playing video games, and doing as they were told. Naturally, by the end of the film, a battered and resigned Bob sentimentally tells one of them, "I wish more Americans were like you."
Whether these men were really as eclectic a mix as they seem on screen is hard to know if you haven't read the book. Krasinski is a study in understated control as a father of three who just wants to bring home a better living, whereas Boon (Krasinki's long-ago Office co-star David Denman) is the intellectual of the group, reading Joseph Campbell in his downtime; Tanto (Pablo Schreiber) is the loud-talking joker; and Tig (Dominic Fumusa) and Oz (Max Martini) are the serious-eyed guys with an unmistakable intensity. There's a little humor in the flick -- mostly courtesy of the Annex's Libyan interpreter, Amahl (Peyman Moaadi), who isn't quite ready to use a gun -- but this is definitely a "bring out the guns, the ammo, and the flag" kind of movie. If you want a nuanced approach, look elsewhere.