Ben Affleck has been on a role as a lately as a writer and director. His first true attempt at directing a feature film lead to the wonderful Gone Baby Gone and then his second outing brought us the critically acclaimed movie the Town. He continues on that roll with his latest movie Argo.
Argo is the story of the six Americans who had managed to escape capture from the Iranian students who over took the U.S. embassy in 1979 only to be unable to leave the country and return back home to America. The film follows Tony Mendez (Affleck) as he tries to come up with a plan to get the six out. After watching the Battle for the Planet of the Apes with his son, Mendez gets an idea. He plans on going getting the six out by posing as a film crew. What ensues is a griping thriller that will have you on the edge of your seats.
Affleck’s sense of direction is on point as in his previous ventures and his take on the events are truly interesting. The acting by everyone is excellent with standout performances by the usual suspects, Affleck, Cranston, Goodman and Arkin. Being the central character, Affleck gets the most screen type and does a good job as Mendez trying desperately to get the six out of Tehran. Bryan Cranston portrays Jack O’Donnell and is believable as the Mendez’s supervisor especially the last few minutes of the film as he is shown running around try to help out Mendez. John Goodman and Alan Arkin make a great team as a movie make-up artist and film producer respectfully. Their screen time together were all amusing and Arkin gets one of the best lines in recent memories “Argo F**k Yourself.”
For hardcore history buff, you might notice that the film is not entirely accurate in its depictions of the event. The liberties taken are not at all deal breakers as they consist of only a few minor inconsistencies and this is why I can look the other way as it helps the flow and pace of the movie. The other reason I turn my head is simply because this is just a movie and is not supposed to be a documentary. The movie is ”based” on true event and does not state to be true events so as I said the mistakes are not at all deal breakers. But I must say that the only thing that did bother me a bit was the portrayal of all Iranians as lunatics. Not one Iranian during the whole film is shown as sane or at less calm besides the maid. But there is a short scene that does show Americans beating down an innocent Iranian so there is at least an attempt to even the playing filed.
This is truly one of the better films of this year. It’s a gut wrenching thriller that will have you yelling at your screen. Although it has its faults, none of them should stop you from enjoying the movie. I am excited to see where Affleck goes from here and hopefully turn out another great film. Overall I recommend Argo to anyone who likes Affleck’s last efforts and to those who enjoy a great thriller, 3 ½ out of 5.
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