The film stars Ben Affleck as Tony Mendez a CIA exfiltration specialist who is tasked to rescue six US Embassy employees/ diplomats who managed to escape the 444 day hostage-taking crisis in Iran in the 1980s. To get these people out, Mendez fakes a movie entitled "Argo" which will be the cover story used to get the employees out of Iran.
|The six US diplomats who escaped the US Embassy occupation in "Argo"|
This is the third directorial movie of Affleck and I must say that this flick is definitely gripping. While thinking of the words to use on this review, I was actually convincing myself to use the cliche review words like 'gripping' and 'wonderful'. I really don't want to resort to these cliches but I am really looking to these words right now to describe this delightful movie.
Don't be surprised to see old school stuff because this after all is a period piece. It's set in the late 70s and early 80. Everything feels authentic which is really awesome.
- Ben Affleck does a pretty convincing Mendez. He's a focused guy who, despite working for a circus like the CIA, still retains his morality and sense of responsibility. It's also him who concocts this farfetched idea of getting out the refugees with the fake film "Argo" (which was originally entitled "Lords of Light") .
- I actually liked the tandem of Alan Arkin and John Goodman who plays Lester Siegel and John Chambers respectively. Arkin has more meatier lines in this movie and I wouldn't have it any other way.
- The dialogue in this film can make you laugh one minute and then will get you biting your fingernails the next. The best line in the film I've heard was that scene when Mendez's ARGO extraction gets the go signal and Affleck's character asks his boss Jack O'Donnell what its like to speak to them and he tells Tony that its like talking to the two old guys from 'The Muppets'.
- While the story was a bit slow in the beginning, it suddenly picks up the pace once Mendez leaves the United States. There the clock starts ticking reaching towards the climax (which I expect you all to go crazy with adrenaline).
- One of the biggest shockers in the film was the inclusion of Jack Kirby (played by actor Michael Parks). It's a damn small role but its important for this writer since it shows how important comic book art/ storyboards are in saving lives. Its also interesting to note that its also King Kirby who co-created Daredevil (which was played by Affleck a few years ago)...
Here's a bit more on Kirby and this CIA Mission
- The movie's visuals and cinematography is pretty cool for a period piece. The production crew managed to get everything right not just for the bits in the United States but also for all the parts in Iran. Kudos for the authenticity.
- Speaking of art, the movie sports the coolest opening sequence to date. This made me realize that if all history lessons were done like this, there would be a lot of history buffs/ history geeks out there.
- Best song selection used!!!! Led Zeppelin's "When the Leevee Breaks"
- Argo is interesting as **ck! Don't hesitate to watch this flick as it'll drive you to the edge of your seat.
- There were a few moments that bored me to hell. Maybe its how the scene was visualized or maybe its because it really didn't draw in too much attention. Or maybe it's just me thats bored.
- A few details from the actual declassified report were skipped or cut. This could be because of the time constraint on the film or it could be because of legal issues or a combination of both. Regardless its still interesting and never took out the flavor for the movie.
- The movie is chockful of violence. It's not graphic but its violent imagery. Still impressed because they still made it look artistic regardless of the brutal nature.
- Politically speaking while it was admittedly the US and UK that's partly to blame for how things went in Iran, that bit was downplayed. Yeah it was mentioned but it was dumbed down never to be mentioned again. I guess that's how the media now portrays the US, as the 'king' country that made mistakes but is on a path to redemption. :(
VERDICTArgo is intense. It's brilliant and I wouldn't mind pushing friends and fellow history geeks in seeing this film. It's going to be worth your while and you'll probably go home learning new bits and pieces about history. If I can add there's actually some similarities between Iran and the Philippines. The US took in both the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Ferdinand Marcos during the revolution.Of course we all know that while the Philippines managed to kick off things better (?), the Iranians had it worse with the reinstatement of the Ayatollah.
Going back, GO EFFING WATCH ARGO! It's open October 17. I'll stake what little reputation I have that you'll enjoy this.
|Right around this part you'll probably be worried sick about this guys. Find out when you see the film.|
ARGO FUCK YOURSELF
Special thanks to Warner Bros.