Published on July 23rd, 2013 | by Allan Brown5
Movie Review: Argo (2012)
Director: Ben Affleck
Cast: Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Rory Cochrane, Scoot McNairy
Plot: In 1979 while Iran was going through a revolution, more than 60 American Embassy officials were taken hostage in Tehran. 6 managed to escape before the Embassy’s fall and take refuge with the Canadian ambassador. This led to a joint venture from the CIA and Canada to extract the hostages under the guise of a fake movie production entitled ARGO.
This stranger than fiction story of the extraction of 6 embassy officials during the Tehran hostage crisis in the 1980s, under semblance of a faux movie production as cover sounds like something only Hollywood could dream up This now declassified story however did in fact transpire.
Ben Affleck shows how mature and reserved a Director he’s become, shaping what is essentially a politically charged thriller, without weighing it down with the politics. Instead he focuses on the drama and tension of the story. He handles change in tone very fluidly from nail biting tension to humour and back again, masterfully. These tones run throughout the film never allowing it feel to dark.
Ben Affleck also in the lead role plays CIA agent “Tony Mendez”. Given the quiet subdued nature of the character Affleck plays, I still felt he lacked edge in the role. Alan Arkin and John Goodman play the Hollywood production side of the story and are responsible for most of the best lines and comic relief. The six characters that play the hostages in the movie feel extremely one dimensional and are not given any room to develop. The lack of real depth in these pivotal characters in turn makes it extremely hard for the viewer to feel for their plight.
Summary: Argo plays as part historical drama, part Hollywood thriller and manages to balance both with ease and although the film falls short of its immense hype it is still well worth viewing and another strong turn for Director Ben Affleck.