Thirteen Days



Jurassic Mark

SCORE: 3 Stars

Thirteen Days has the same problem as Apollo 13.  In both movies, the audience knows the ending.  Yet, both movies succeed because they maintain a sense of urgency and an attention to detail.
Thirteen Days and Apollo 13 are based on historical events that are marketable on the silver screen as tales of suspense.  The question begging to be asked is "How does each film maintain an element of suspense if the audience knows the outcome?"  Herein lies the artistry of Thirteen Days (and Apollo 13).
Thirteen Days is successful because we feel like we get an "inside scoop" on the events surrounding the Cuban missile crisis.  Presumably, the film relies heavily upon Robert Kennedy's posthumously published book of the same name.  The scenes that work best are the those that deal with the Kennedy brothers and the Kevin Costner character.  These scenes work as both historical insight and emotional spotlight on the pivotal events surrounding the crisis.
My biggest criticism of Thirteen Days lies with director Roger Donaldason.  In several scenes, Donaldson tries for the "Oliver Stone" color to black and white switcheroo.  I found no reason whatsoever for this stylistic statement.  The majority of the film is shot in color, and the black and white sequences might as well have been picked at random.