I just got around to watching Argo. Although terribly inaccurate Argo is a tense, oh-my-god-I-feel-nervous thriller. Ben Affleck is well on his way to becoming a great director (so far). He is similar to Clint Eastwood, although Eastwood is a good actor and a good director, Affleck is a meh actor and a great director. I suppose it all balances out.
Argo is about Tony Mendez, the CIA operative who led six United States diplomats out of Iran during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. Not having been born in 1979, Argo helped fill in some gaps and also helped clarify a great deal of Iran and Americas strained relationship. The problem being that Argo definitely paints America as the hero, Iran as the villain, and Canada as some strange bystander. In reality Canada was the hero, Iran was the semi-villain, and America kinda came in near the end and helped a bit. Aside from this, the story very closely follows the timeline and actual events of the situation even though several nail-biting sequences are thrown in to help up the tension for the audience. I guess the movie does say “Based on a true story” and not “100% the factual truth”. Whatevs.
The thing that really sells the concept is that Americas involvement at all was classified information until 1997, when former President Clinton declassified the information. Until then the sole credit of the operation went to Canada to prevent further complications to the hostage situation. The CIA basically helped get the hostages out by sending in Tony Mendez to play a fake film director of a fake sci-fi movie called Argo to rescue the six diplomats by teaching them to play fake writers, fake camera men, and fake directors. They also had a fake press conference to make Hollywood believe the movie was real along with fake posters, a fake script, and fake producers. Then they were simply to stroll they the heavily guarded airport with fake credentials, fake tickets, and fake identities. So up until 1997 people never knew this movie was a fake and that it simply had been stopped mid-production like so many other films. This makes for a unique thriller with an extra edge of mystery to it.
I definitely think you should watch this movie, with the only fault I have being that the movie is non-stop build up and the ending is just the inevitable sweet release. It doesn’t quite satisfy the story other than simply letting it up and then quickly ending it. Also Alan Arkin’s performance was garnering a lot of high praise and I didn’t find it anything above the norm. John Goodman is in the movie a little too if that’s your thing?
Here is to hoping that Ben continues to direct excellent movies. Since this movie has been out quite some time I am not going to assign a number score, but I definitely recommend it.