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October 17, 2012


Argo is tense, intelligent and another excellent film by Ben Affleck. The man has proven to be a fantastic director and actor. Character actors must love him as well because he hires most of them and Argo gave many people an excuse to grow a mustache and wear some funky glasses while spouting well written dialogue.


Affleck handles the true story with a sure hand and respect of history. Also, whenever Rory Cochrane and Affleck go back to the 70’s the result is cinema gold (Argo, Dazed and Confused) Argo tells the story of six Americans who escaped from the seized American embassy in Iran in 1979. 52 Americans were taken hostage from the embassy and the six escapees hid in the Canadian Embassy. CIA agent Tony Mendez came up with a plan to pose as a Canadian film producer scouting Iran for a film called Argo. The six Americans would pose as the film crew as Mendez snuck them out of the country. The fake film was backed by Lester Siegel a famous producer and John Chambers a legendary makeup artist. They created fake buzz, script readings and a production office to legitimize the Star Wars ripoff.


What follows is a tense trip to Iran in which Mendez has to make the American’s convincing film folk and not get them hung in the Iranian square. It is an interesting story to tell and you can tell Affleck really cares about the subject matter.


Argo will receive a best picture nomination and the 95% on Rotten Tomatoes is well deserved. However, it didn’t have the stand out characters that Gone Baby Gone and The Town had. There is no Jeremy Renner chewing scenery or Casey Affleck commanding the screen. They had an aura of unpredictability that Argo is missing. Mendez is a fantastic character and true hero and there  is nothing wrong with that. But, I quickly forgot about the film despite the strong storytelling. It tells a compelling story capably and makes for an enjoyable ride but lacks the moments that made his two prior films so memorable.

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