Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi follows on the heels of other contemporary dramatizations of real-life accounts of the U.S. War on Terror. In all efforts, events have been related by those who were the most intimately involved, as was the case with Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper  and Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, two of the most recent and immediate examples. Based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff, Bay and screenwriter Chuck Hogan (The Strain) have ostensibly crafted a taut action-drama out of the September 2012 terrorist attack of an American diplomatic compound and CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya.

The film stars James Badge Dale (Iron Man 3), John Krasinski (The Office), Max Martini (Pacific Rim), and Pablo Schreiber (Orange is the New Black) as part of the six-man Special Operations team of former Navy Seals and CIA Operatives voluntarily tasked with rescuing any and all remaining survivors of the film’s operatically depicted disaster, and the latest trailer gives audiences a taste of how their performances fare against the odds cinematically stacked against them.

In the second full-length trailer seen above, Bay, Hogan, and the cast appear to be capable of mild spurts of empathy amid the type of filmic carnage more stereotypical of the director’s general aesthetic style. Seemingly, Bay is going all out in an attempt to realize the very depths of real-life combat in the Middle East occurring contemporaneously with production of his grand war epic, and is visually firing on all cylinders, which can be further attested to in the latest red band trailer as seen below.

As was the case with the first trailer for Bay’s new film, the director’s intentions are obviously coming from the right place, and per his previously stated goals of “flexing new muscles,” this new project appears aimed to do just that. Whether or not his filmmaking body is in limber enough shape to perform said contortions is yet to be seen, though much of what has been shown in featured footage so far appears to be viscerally compelling at the very least.

If nothing else, Bay’s latest film will be a welcome respite from his more recent spate of Transformers films, and if Pain & Gain serves as any indication, the director is more on his game when working outside of the former property. Whether or not Bay’s production will prove as ultimately divisive as Eastwood’s recent melodramatic tragedy set against the same thematic war-scape is the key question now, and the one that viewers will undoubtedly answer come the film’s release in January 2016.

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi will see theatrical release in the U.S. on January 15th, 2016.

Source: Paramount Pictures

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