"ARGO" Movie Review

Uploaded on Thursday 11 October 2012


When “Gone Baby Gone” came out in 2007, I thought the idea of Ben Affleck, the director, was just a fluke. Sure, he created one of the finest films of that year, but how could a leading man who once dated Jennifer Lopez craft a thought-provoking film?

And then, “The Town” was released three years later, and I started paying attention. Affleck could be one of the best storytellers of his generation. Fast forward to now with his brilliant “Argo” and you can call me a believer. Yes, Affleck is a master storyteller.

From the informative opening credits to the humanistic ending, “Argo” is a well-told film about the Iran hostage crisis. For a political drama, this film has such levity that it might as well have been an action-packed rescue movie.

“Argo” opens with a five-minute vignette about the history of violence in the Middle East. Created like a Salvador Dali meets Walt Disney cartoon peppered with real-life footage, the entertaining but eye-opening intro of the movie catapults us to the events leading up to the Iran hostage crisis.

As the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point on November 4, 1979, militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran to take 52 Americans hostage. But six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor (Victor Garber).

Time is ticking to get the six Americans safely out of the country. So the CIA turns to their top “exfiltration” specialist named Tony Mendez (Affleck) who comes up with a plan so incredible that it could only happen in the movies.

Written by Chris Terrio (“Damages”) based on a selection from The Master of Disguise by Antonio J. Mendez and the Wired Magazine article “The Great Escape,” by Joshua Bearman, “Argo” has a nail-biting script punctuated by comedic one-liners. The adaptation’s nuanced frivolity is what makes this one of the best political dramas of all time.

Adding humor to the occasion are John Goodman as renowned makeup artist John Chambers (“Planet of the Apes”), and Alan Arkin as film industry mogul, Lester Siegel. Both men help Mendez rescue the stranded six Americans. Their plan? Mendez and the six Americans are about to make a movie in Iran and they’re in the country for location scouting.

The road to rescue the Americans is paved with intense, nail-biting moments. Affleck knows how to entertain and provoke at the same time. He knows his drama, as well as action, and combines both genres to come up with one of the best films of 2012.

“Argo” also boasts an excellent ensemble with Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”) as Mendez’s boss, the assistant deputy director of the CIA, Jack O’Donnell, and Clea Duvall and Tate Donovan as part of the stranded Americans.

“Argo” is gripping, funny, and extremely timely. The film deserves a Best Picture nomination, as well as Best Adapted Screenplay, and Affleck for Best Director. Oddly, the Academy has not given Affleck a Best Director nod yet. He deserves it now more than ever for his movie about the making of a fake film is about as real as you can get.



Language: English

Length: 2:00

Country: United States