Saturday 23 February 2013

Argo Movie Review!!!

Does this movie deserve all the critical acclaim that it's been receiving?? Is Ben Affleck really that good as a director??? Check out our review.

With all the positive buzz this movie has been getting, I was truly surprised that it managed to not only live up to my expectations but actually surpass them. Usually movies buckle under the weight of their own hype but that’s not the case here.

I’m really quite proud of how Ben Affleck has managed to turn his career around.  He’s always come across as a decent guy and I’ve always rooted for him over his boring buddy, Matt Damon.  Nope, I never enjoyed the The Boring Identity, The Boring Supremacy or The Boring Ultimatum.  Meanwhile, following his high profile split with J-Lo, Ben’s career went from underwhelming to non-existent.

Queue his reinvention with Gone Baby Gone, The Town and now Argo – putting him firmly back at the top of Hollywood’s A-list as a great director, where in my opinion, he deserves to be.

This is a great movie!  Really really good!!  The story goes that the US appointed Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlevi to rule Iran, a violent dictator who lived extravagantly while his people suffered.  The people of Iran finally reached boiling point & understandably revolted in 1979.  Shah fled for the US as Iranian militia took all the Americans at the US embassy hostage with the demand that Shah be returned to Iran for trial and execution for his crimes.

Six US diplomats, however, managed to escape from the US embassy and go into hiding.  Set against a ticking clock, as Iranian militia start to figure out that certain US diplomats have escaped; the CIA comes up with a crazy idea to rescue them.   

Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), CIA specialist in extracting people, comes up with the hair brained scheme that he go to Iran posing as a movie producer looking for locations for a new science fiction movie and pretend that the six hideaways are in fact the screenplay writer, cameraman, director, associate producer etc, and then all get out of Iran together. Easy right? Wrong! First the groundwork had to be done.

John Goodman is great as makeup specialist John Chambers, as is Alan Arkin as Hollywood producer Lester Siegel.  Together they help Affleck to make a real fake movie and make everyone believe that the movie is real.

The army in Iran, however, was tightening their grip on anyone coming in and out of the country and what ensues is one of the most tense, gripping and scary movies I’ve seen in a long time.  Scarier than any horror movie, I found my heart racing and fists clenched, sweaty palms and all as the story unfolds.  The escape is by no means easy.  The way in which Affleck builds the tension is remarkable and testament to his ability as a director.  It comes as no surprise that he has been picking up awards left, right and center for his directorial skills in Argo and also no surprise why so many are surprised that he was not nominated for the Best Director Oscar this year.  Well, I for one hope that he gets the gong for Best Movie.  Good luck Mr Affleck!!

Naysayers will argue that the movie is not historically accurate.  That Mendez was not white, Mendez was not separated from his wife and that Lester Siegel was in fact a group of people tasked with the job of making a fake movie.  There’s a lot of evidence that the role of the Canadians is severely underplayed.  I’ve even heard that the movie is propaganda being partially funded by the US military.  If that’s true then Transformers must be propaganda too!  To be honest, I don’t care.  If you want historical accuracy, go and do your own research, watch the History channel or whatever.  If you want a great movie, then look no further.  All the artistic liberties taken adjusting details for the purpose of great cinema, in my opinion, are fully justified.

This is expert film making and as good as anything I’ve seen coming out of Hollywood.  A must watch for everyone, even if you think this isn’t your kind of movie.  You don’t need to be into politics or international affairs to enjoy this.  This is just a great, super tense thriller, which all film lovers should seek out.  The fact that the premise is true just helps to draw you in further.  Check it out - you won’t be disappointed!

Highly recommended.

Rating 4.5 out of 5.


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