Australian writer-director Zak Hilditch’s apocalyptic vision is striking in its visuals, bold in its bleakness and completely unoriginal in its core narrative. An asteroid strike in the North Atlantic sends a tsunami of unstoppable fire around the world, with Western Australia the last place to be hit. The people of Perth have 12 hours to contemplate their demise and, as the sky turns hotter, lawlessness rapidly descends – with many choosing suicide or the escape of hard drugs, rather than meeting their fate head on.
By filtering the enormity of global catastrophe through the prism of individual survival, writer/director Stephen Fingleton’s remarkable debut effectively imagines the complete breakdown of society into an intense, intimate and brutally realistic character study.
With 13 Hours, Michael Bay doesn’t so much wear his political heart on his sleeve as use it as a club to beat his audience into submission. His dramatic retelling of the September 2012 terrorist attack on US diplomats in Benghazi, Libya – during which two members of a covert security team lost their lives along with American ambassador Christopher Stephens – plays like an extended Republican party political broadcast, complete with relentless hand held camera carnage and beating jungle drum soundtrack.