It’s probably safe to say that hoping for a ZERO DARK THIRTY from Michael Bay was going to be asking too much, but surely something on par with LONE SURVIVOR wasn’t out of the question?

To be completely fair, that second comparison is almost what we get. For perhaps the first half of Bay’s adaptation of this true account, the levels of macho bullshit on display are limited to an honest depiction, while the grey areas and complexities of the story are weighed fairly and John Krasinski (perhaps still best known as Jim from the US version of The Office) makes for a solid lead.

As you'd expect, it's a consistently superb-looking film, but as the bullets keep flying Bay can't resist his fetishism with all things war, technological, and alpha male. It’s all the more frustrating because he ranks among the top directors in the world who can shoot and cut a prolonged firefight; while he manages to make sense of the chaos for us, he once again ends up transgressing into jingoism and war porn almost to the point of self-parody. It would seem only some of the lessons of PEARL HARBOR were learned.

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI is released January 14 in NZ, January 15 in the US, January 29 in the UK and February 25 in Australia