Right now (12:30 pm Pacific) Michael Bay‘s 13 Hours is at 53% on Rotten Tomatoes and 47% on Metacritic. That averages out to a failing grade, and yet I’m telling you it’s somewhat better than that. At the very least it’s a first-rate combat flick. Yes, it’s arguably a little too one-sided and swoony about the small team of mercenaries who defend the CIA annex in Benghazi, but there’s a significant moment at the end when Bay shows various women bemoaning the fallen bodies of anti-U.S. fanatics who attacked the compound, suggesting that humanistic doubts about perpetual warfare and relentless jihad are part of the current over there. Yes, Bay tries too hard to whip the film into a lather. Yes, it would have been better if he’d told the story in a plainer fashion. Yes, he repeats his famous Pearl Harbor “Bayo” when he followed a Japanese bomb dropped from a plane into a U.S, destroyer, this time following the path of a terrorist mortar. But it’s still an efficiently made, often breathtaking action thriller about stopping the baddies and defending lives. Not a burn, trust me.