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In 2001, Michael Bay made a film about an important moment in American history, and Pearl Harbor was the result of those actions. A film as infamous as its inspiration, it convinced people that Bay couldn't do subtle or reverent if his life depended on it. Could he turn it around with 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi? Watch the trailer below and judge for yourself.
Based off of Mitchell Zuckoff's book of the same name, 13 Hours: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened In Benghazi, the film version dropped its trailer on Paramount Pictures' official YouTube page and it doesn't look completely terrible. The first comforting sign is the fact that James Badge Dale and John Krasinski actually look pretty bad-ass as the leads in the picture. Krasinski in particular is impressive, as this is probably the furthest we've seen him branch out from his days as Jim Halpert.
Another good factor about the 13 Hours trailer is the fact that, as per usual, Michael Bay's action looks as kinetic and explosive as ever. Whether this is appropriate or not can be discussed at a later time, but from a filmmaking standpoint, this looks like Michael Bay's Black Hawk Down. Even better still, this trailer is a Red Band, which allows the more R-rated material to be on display while selling the film. There's nothing too extreme, but something tells us that the Green Band trailer is going to be a harder sell, so this is the right foot to lead off on.
Unfortunately, this is where doubt starts to kick in, as Pearl Harbor really is a difficult film to forget when it comes to historical epics. If the sensitivity and lack of gravitas that Bay's World War II picture lacked is still absent in 13 Hours, you can bet there's going to be a field day with people claiming that Michael Bay is doing nothing more than cashing in on a controversial subject. While his previous attempt at historical filmmaking had a good couple of decades separating the reality from the cinematic equivalent, the Benghazi attack is still somewhat of a fresh would in the American psyche.
While we're not saying we want Michael Bay to fail in his latest endeavor at the box office, I wonder if he'd be better suited to continue his Transformers franchise than to take on a historical film. Still, should 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi fail to redeem its director at the box office, we wouldn't be surprised if he ends up returning to the franchise that made him a man to be feared in the first place.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi opens in theaters on January 15, 2016.