The 13 Hours movie is a brilliant take on the events in the story of the rise of the Obama administration. The movie also highlights the profound effect that news travels in the face of the strongest, most well-informed political army in modern history.
The story begins with an unlikely candidate for president of Libya, Muammar Qaddafi, deciding to lay down his arms and take a vacation. When he returns, the time has arrived for a meeting in which to make such a decision. Unfortunately, it seems that he has been kidnapped, and his captors are demanding that he not be allowed to return home, lest he spills the beans about how he intends to keep the nation in his grasp.
When the film shifts its focus from the kidnapping of the dictator to the rescue of the former CIA operative, Evan Carter (Daniel Brühl), the movie becomes far more interesting. Here we find out that the government that has now been formed is among the most well-armed and well-trained in the world, and that the president has himself appointed the head of such an agency.
As the movie moves to the final days of the occupation of Benghazi, it is clear that the film is making a connection between the Obama administration and the reality of US armed forces in action. In fact, the film also goes into great detail about the history of this particular city, and how its location makes it one of the best places in the world to conduct covert operations. Indeed, one of the key characters in the movie, CIA head David Petraeus, was born in a suburb of the city, and it is through him that we find out how the US military uses this sort of subterfuge to accomplish its goals.
But why is it that audiences like the movie online? The simple answer is that there are a number of factors at work here. It may be that the audience can get a sense of what it is like to be in the shoes of a soldier in the field, a sense that can be difficult to convey on screen, and that something so involved as watching a movie can serve to fulfill.
More fundamentally, it may be that the audience can see more clearly the characters of the story, and in particular their motivations, than they could if the story had been told through a more linear narrative. In this sense, the movie helps make sense of an often chaotic and confusing period in US foreign policy, and one that places us in the minds of the characters who must deal with it. And in addition, the portrayal of these characters is made even more believable by the clear, simple structure of the plot.
It is only in an Internet release that the film has the benefit of being the same length as a TV series, and yet there is no shortage of information to be gleaned from the telling of the story. That is the reason that the movie will be seeing a second run of screens, and why a lot of people will likely see it online.
An online movie such as this should be as much fun as the original in terms of the viewing experience, and perhaps more so, given that one does not have to adjust one's television in order to watch it. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of online viewing is that it frees up some of the demands that exist when watching a movie in the cinema and gives viewers the opportunity to watch in real time.