Director Michael Bay’s newest film 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi has become a highly anticipated film in recent weeks. The subject matter is still a politically sensitive topic which has made the film a lightning rod for potential controversy. Now that the film is finally hitting theaters, one candidate for President has decided that people really need to see this movie. Donald Trump is renting theater space in Iowa and giving away the tickets for free.
The film deals with the terrorist attack that took place on a diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012. Four people died in the attack, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens. Because the events of Benghazi have become a political topic in Washington, the film has become part of that conversation. This makes Trump’s renting of the theater in Urbandale, Iowa unsurprising. According to Trump’s Iowa co-chair, Tana Goertz, Trump would like all Americans to know "the truth" about the events in Benghazi. For the record, if you happen to live in or near Urbandale, the showing will be at 6:00 PM at the Carmike Cobblestone 9 Theater, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Truth is not something that is normally associated with movies made by Michael Bay. Traditionally, his films involve giant robots or the destruction of asteroids in outer space. To be fair, there’s probably more accuracy in 13 Hours than there was in Pearl Harbor.
Both Michael Bay and Paramount Pictures view the film as apolitical. The film does not place any blame for the events depicted and instead focuses on the acts of heroism performed by the group of military contractors who found themselves at the center of the attack. The only political figure who is even mentioned, let alone depicted, in the film is the ambassador who lost his life during the attack.
It’s unclear if Donald Trump himself has already seen the movie. The official premiere took place the night of the President Obama State of the Union address, and based on Trump’s Twitter feed, he was busy watching that.
Still, there are worse ways to spend an evening. As I pointed out in my review of the film, 13 Hours, when viewed purely as the action movie it’s intended to be, is very exciting. Michael Bay’s frenetic style of filmmaking works very well when depicting the chaos of the events as they unfolded. Nothing is made of the politics of that night in the film because the politics were not relevant to the characters.
Are you looking forward to checking out 13 Hours? How much does the subject matter influence that decision? And what do you think of Donald Trump's strategy? Weigh in below.