Friday, November 16, 2012

Movie Review: Argo

After being out for over a month I finally got a chance to see Argo.   The movie has been getting great reviews and is considered a frontrunner for Best Picture and Best Director. 


Argo is based on the true story of six Americans that escaped the US embassy in Iran as it was being taken over in 1979.   During the crisis the six hid out at the Canadian Ambassadors house while the CIA decided what to do.  When it was clear that the hostage situation was not going to end quickly they realized that if they did not get those six out of the country then they would be found and killed.  The CIA turned to their top extraction guy Tony Mendez (Ben Aflfleck).  Having no good options they decide that the “best bad option” is to pose as a film crew for a fake movie named Argo.  To create credible cover stories he has to go to Hollywood and get a script, a producer, and make everything seem legit.  Then the process of putting the plan into action begins. 


I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Sometimes a movie with this much hype disappoints.  But Affleck who not only starred in but directed it delivered a great movie.  The scenes with the Hollywood producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) and Hollywood Make-up artist John Chambers (John Goodman) are very funny.  It pokes fun at the Hollywood hype that one must go through even to make a fake movie.  Once the action moves back to Iran the tension ratchets up.  It becomes a nail bitter of a movie even if you know how the story ends.  You always feel the peril of everyone involved and how one wrong movie could bring the whole plan crumbling down. 


The movie is well acted with Affleck giving one of his best performances as the lead.  Goodman and Arkin give good supporting performances.  While I thought there was going to be more action in the movie Affleck proves you don’t need a lot action to have the  intensity.  While we feel the peril all the hostages are in we don’t really get to know them well but at 2 hours the movie is the perfect length and gets the point across.  This is a movie that will definitely get some Academy award nominations. 


Overall:  4.5 out of 5 stars.  Near perfect. 


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