A prediction: Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi will fail miserably at the box office when it’s released next January.
Let’s face it: in the aftermath of the failed takedown of Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at last week’s House hearings on Benghazi, even Republican voters are probably ready to give up the ghost on this issue. Why would they want to pay good, hard-earned money on what is, in all likelihood, more boring right-wing agitprop on the tragedy?
Hopefully Paramount Pictures and the production companies behind 13 Hours didn’t spent too much money on this obvious stinkeroo, since they’re unlikely to make much of it back. Presumably, this film was made to appeal to the same folks who came out in droves in late-2014 and early-2015 to make American Sniper a massive hit; however, lighting should not be expected to strike twice.
Remember in late-2006, when New Line Cinema released The Nativity Story? That film was a fairly obvious effort to attract the audiences who flocked to theatres two years before to see Mel Gibson’s controversial and deeply anti-Semitic film The Passion of the Christ. However, that gambit didn’t work: The Nativity Story came nowhere close to The Passion of the Christ’s domestic and international box-office success.
The same fate will surely befall 13 Hours. After all, was the world really crying out for a Benghazi movie? Does anyone think this will be great art, or even great entertainment?
As for Bay, Mother Jones noted last year that the Transformers director is a something of a wingnut, so his involvement with this film is not a surprise. Say what you will about Sniper director Clint Eastwood, but he made a few movies during his heyday that could be considered great. Can anyone say the same about Bay? When his next film comes out, the masses will stay away.