Michael Bay Does Benghazi in the Red-Band ‘13 Hours’ Trailer
A few scant weeks ago, Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton sat before a House committee for a hearing to determine her culpability for the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. A bit premature, considering that the definitive account of the events taking place that tragic night still has yet to be released to the public. I am referring, of course, to 13 Hours: the Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, a.k.a. #BAYGHAZI, a.k.a. Michael Bay’s Michael Bay Goes to Benghazi. The cineaste most noted for having built the Transformers franchise into the shimmering metallic behemoth it is today got a taste for commentary on American exceptionalism with Pain & Gain, and now he’s hungry for more.
Bay will bring his trademark artistic delicacy and sensitivity to the complexities of human behavior to a dramatic retelling of the bold stand that a small squadron of soldiers made at the Benghazi compound on September 11, 2012. The first trailer surfaced at the tail end of July, showing John Krasinski shedding the sitcom persona that still clings to him from his days on The Office and igniting a Mexican standoff without breaking his stone-face. Now a second, red-band trailer has been unveiled and it trades the first spot’s slow-burning tension for scorching violence, an all-out assault coming from mysterious enemies. (The trailer arrives bundled with a new theatrical poster design, embedded below.) Both trailers are united by Bay’s distinctive visual aesthetic, which can only be described as “what if real life was a first-person shooter video game”.
The film is headed for a January 15 release following the New Year, which could be a small red flag for the project. Studios generally use January as a dumping ground for projects they believe are doomed for failure, cutting them loose where they can cause only minimal damage. Bay’s no stranger to American crisis, having already directed Pearl Harbor, a film that made oodles of profit despite being awful. Perhaps Paramount anticipates another critical routing, though the likelihood of that diminishing robust box office returns seems slim. America loves Michael Bay, Michael Bay loves America, and terrorists love shooting the American flag (apparently). The good ol’ red, white, and blue should earn #BAYNGHAZI plenty of green.