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.
Based on a true story, Argo retells the events surrounding the extraction of 6 Americans after the storming of the US Embassy in Iran.
Regardless of how you feel about its Best Picture win at the 2013 Oscars, it cannot be disputed that Argo is a very good film. Ben Affleck is proving – or has proved I should say – that he is a very accomplished director who can tell a fascinating story ripe expertly crafted. That being said I think it could have been improved if we had felt a little something more for the characters, the situation, and knowledge of it is what caused the majority of the tension, as I had no real investment in the characters themselves, only situation they were in. That is just how I felt of course.
Ben Affleck plays Tony Mendez, an extraction expert working for the CIA, who is called in when six Americans escape from the US Embassy in Iran when militants raid the building, and take refuge at the Canadian Ambassador’s home. Mendez comes up with a plan to stage the shooting of a film as a cover to get the six out of the country.
Argo is really well written, with a great job done on the screenplay by Chris Terrio. The re-telling of the events is done very respectfully and it never gets too Hollywood. That is until the final sequence at the airport when it gets a little less accurate to build some extra tension. It is criminal Affleck did not get a Best Director nod as his direction is spot on, using the camera to give a sense of the terror and chaos of the situation. Particularly, there is a scene in the cities Bazaar which really showcases the terror and confusion they characters would themselves be feeling.
Argo has a really strong cast; Affleck is great as Mendez and he is backed up by excellent performances from Bryan Cranston as a fellow CIA colleague and John Goodman and Alan Arkin as Hollywood execs who help Mendez in his production of the fake film. Arkin is especially great, and is able to expertly deliver some humour to the tension filled film.
In my own personal this is not Affleck’s best work – that I give to The Town – however, Argo is a great film that is immensely enjoyable on many levels.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★ ★