Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Movie Review: Argo

The Town was the first movie I reviewed here at Jim's Fear back in 2010. Although I really enjoyed the film, I was more stoked that it redeemed it's star/director, Ben Affleck, who had spent most of the 2000's pissing me off in really shitty roles . Well, if The Town was Affleck's great comeback, Argo appears poised to be his great victory. It's a hell of movie and has some serious Oscar hype behind it.

cheers: to my comeback...and 70's wardrobe
On paper, Argo sounds like it should have been a horrible movie. It's a period film that's also a historical/political drama, based on actual events that are so insanely far fetched, mostly everyone involved in the real life incident couldn't believe it either. But somehow, someway, Affleck pulls this thing off masterfully.

So the film revolves around the Iranian Hostage Crisis of 1979. More than fifty Americans were taken hostage when members of the Iranian Revolution stormed the United States Embassy in Tehran. During the chaos, six Americans managed to escape and hide at the Canadian ambassador's residence. The film's plot centers on how the CIA tries to get those six unfortunate souls out of Iran without getting them discovered and or killed by the Revolutionary Guard. Affleck plays the CIA spymaster who proposes that the hidden American diplomats pose as a Canadian film crew scouting locations in Iran. Argo is basically a movie about the development of a fake movie, where Americans pose as Canadians because they're trying to flee the the Iranians...all orchestrated by the CIA and some old Hollywood producers. Again, this sounds beyond retarded, but it actually happened and it worked!
crazy like a Fox
Despite all the craziness I just mentioned, Affleck has crafted a compelling, suspenseful and powerful film. The opening scene, the storming of the embassy sequence, sets the tone for the entire film. Mixing archival news footage with some awesome handheld camera work, Argo achieves an amazing sense of realism. The sets, props, wardrobe (viva those ugly late 70's get ups) and kick ass classic rock soundtrack (Aerosmith, Dire Straits...Van Halen!) made me feel like I'd time traveled back to the Carter years. Everyone in the cast did an amazing job, from the six hostages in exile who slowly start to go crazy, to Affeck's CIA and Hollywood homeboys who back him up throughout the film (Bryan Cranston and John Goodman are great...in everything), even Affleck himself is pretty believable as the CIA's top extraction specialist. I just have a problem with him acting and directing his films. I know he's the director (and now, certifiably a great one at that) so when I see him on screen I imagine him directing himself in the same outfit and it just pulls me out of the movie. At least that's what happened in The Town...not as much during Argo.

That's probably because I was too busy sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time. Yes, I wasn't kidding when I said Argo was suspenseful. As a History geek, I pretty much already knew how the movie ended, yet I was hooked from start to finish. I kept marveling at how Affleck had me by the balls every time I fought the urge to use the restroom. It's really that suspenseful. Go see it.


  1. haha see everyone wants to be Canadian. That does sound weird, but glad to here it works. Affleck is finally making good movies again.

  2. it does sound pretty damn good, and it's based off a piece of history I would be interested in as I didn't know that actually happened.

  3. going to have to check this out soon

  4. it's crazy how this really was history

  5. This sounds pretty cool and I'm seriously tempted to check it out now, I quite like Affleck even though he's had some horrible films, especially Daredevil, shudder he just didn't fit that role at all.

  6. I did see it. I saw it the day after someone ruined The Master for me, so this was the only other option.

    Said person is still not forgiven, but I fear that because of the incident I couldn't enjoy this one to its fullest. I still think it's great.

  7. Exciting, real story of hostages getting rescued from Iran by, a CIA agent with help from Canadians and Hollywood. The CIA comes up with a crazy plan to rescue the hostages. They will go to Iran and pretend to be scouting a location for a movie, then sneak the hostages out, while the hostages are disguised as a movie crew. Loved the film.

    Cath Brookes
    We saw BC Web Marketing