Movie Review – Argo (2012)

Argo, 2012.

Directed by Ben Affleck.
Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Taylor Schilling, Kyle Chandler, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Zeljko Ivanek, Clea DuVall, Tate Donovan and Victor Garber.

SYNOPSIS:

During the Iranian revolution, a CIA agent concocts a plan to free six Americans who have found shelter at the home of the Canadian ambassador.

In 1980, the Iranian revolution was in full swing. It reached a point where there were so many angry Iranians, many of them stormed into the U.S. embassy to take charge. They managed  to take about fifty Americans hostage but six managed to escape and find shelter at the Canadian ambassador’s home. A few months after these events a C.I.A. ’exfiltration’ specialist, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), concocted a plan where it would look as if he and the six Americans are on location looking for places to shoot a fake movie titled Argo. Tony hoped this would fool any Iranians who might believe them to be the Americans who escaped, allowing him to bring them back to America safely.

After gaining worldwide acclaim from critics and audiences for both Gone Baby Gone and The Town, Affleck returns to directing with what may be his best movie yet. With Argo, Affleck manages to create a film that combines a real sense of tension with a nice bit of fun to make one incredible experience. Taking on a film that’s based on a true story can be challenging for some directors, especially when it’s a story that’s known worldwide. People who already know about the story may look away and not bother to see it on screen, but you can also bring in new audiences who may not know the story at all. Thankfully, I didn’t know much about the events that take place in Argo, which may have allowed me to enjoy it even more.

Affleck takes on a serious subject here but films it so well and manages to add a lot of heart and a surprising amount of humor. The man is now three for three in my book when it comes to directing. His ability to get such believable emotions from his actors is fantastic and that’s not something a lot of directors can do well. The pace he’s set for the film also works tremendously; clocking in at about two hours, it moves so quick and flawlessly that before you know it the movie is over.

The cast here works very well and features quite a few familiar faces. Affleck of course takes on the lead role and does so wonderfully. Not only is he a great director but his acting skills having steadily improved with each new role over the last few years. Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) is always good in everything and here is no different, as he plays a member of the C.I.A. who helps out Affleck’s character. Scene stealers Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine) and John Goodman (The Artist) provide most of the fun and humorous moments throughout the movie. I would have liked to have seen them a little more but they work so perfectly ithat any chance you have to see them is enough. Everyone else in the cast from Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and Tate Donovan (Damages) to Clea DuVall (The Faculty) and everyone involved all perform incredibly well.

Argo is a must see this fall season. It has great performances all around, amazing direction from Ben Affleck and just the right amount of heart and humor needed in a serious drama like this. Don’t be surprised come Oscar time if you see Argo racking up the nominations.

Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Jake Peffer