Michael Bay’s name has become synonymous with the blockbuster, brain-deficient Transformers franchise over the past eight years, but the helmer is stepping outside of that effects-heavy series next year for 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, a Black Hawk Down-esque war thriller about the pair of attacks on American compounds in Libya that left four Americans dead.
Now, a green-band and very slightly different red-band trailer (above and below, respectively) have arrived online, painting 13 Hours as the disappointingly jingoistic, chauvinistic, gun-fetishizing action-thriller we expected from Bay.
The audio and cinematography immediately give the film the appearance of a Michael Bay production, but it’s the intensity and relentless action that’s really going to disappoint those who had been crossing their fingers for a more nuanced, less chest-pounding adaptation of Mitchell Zuckoff’s insightful book of the same name.
Of course, Bay directed Pearl Harbor, one of the most lacking historical epics ever made when it comes to sensitivity, historical accuracy real dramatic heft, so anyone who was expecting a genuinely good treatment of the Benghazi siege was already kidding themselves from day one.
This is Michael Bay we’re talking about, the guy who drenches every movie he makes in fireballs and glistening pectorals, who regularly attracts criticism for the blatant misogyny and racism perpetuated by his two-dimensional supporting characters, who preferred explosions over coherent plot points or any semblance of believable emotion – and whose knack for pretty pyrotechnics and fast-paced action has made him one of Hollywood’s most bankable directors.
And so, was anyone really expecting the trailer for 13 Hours to blow us away with its diplomacy?
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi opens in theaters on January 15, 2016.