Argo: a Fake Movie for an Intelligent Rescue Mission

Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012)

Prepare to witness a watchable solid thriller from the most acclaimed director this year, Ben Affleck’s Argo. Despite of getting Oscar’s snub for best director, Affleck who so far has brought Golden Globe, BAFTA, and DGA home still has a big opportunity to get his highest honor back through best picture in this month. However, to be honest, I’m not so sure that Academy has such a big heart to admit it since all other events are in Argo’s side. Who knows? Let’s see. (Can’t wait!)

Based on the declassified true story (the tagline says) from the book “The Master of Disguise” by Tony Mendez, it follows an incident during the Iran hostage crisis in 1979. The American embassy there was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries. They took several Americans as hostages. Fortunately, six of them were success to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador. It’s the CIA now who had an obligation to get them out of the country.  CIA then hired an exfiltration expert, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck), who finally had a real, weird, genius, and brave idea: to create a fake movie in Iran. It’s not an ordinary fake movie after all, it’s a Hollywood fake movie! So, how can a fake movie get them out of Iran?

To be honest, this is one of the most high quality thriller film I’ve ever seen. Affleck directs a solid, gripping, and natural thriller which kept me sitting in the edge of my chair. I found myself in awe with how much I truly enjoyed it. Affleck has some magic capability to build some tense situation and tricky moment which really worked on me. For a moment, it reminds me of some last scenes in Kevin Macdonald’s The Last King of Scotland (2006). In the other hand, I laughed during the process of movie production scene. What a perfect intermission.  The combination of documentary clip and film scenes are impressive.  Sometimes I feel surprise if this is an Affleck’s film. What a terrific progression. Gone Baby Gone (2007) and The Town (2010) are remarkable, but Argo is his best so far.

Affleck won BAFTA as a best director a couple week ago

Affleck won BAFTA as a best director a couple week ago

Chris Terrio writes a magnificent screenplay. It’s straight to the point and full of intrigues. All makes the plot simpler but it’s still dynamic. The dialogue is very smart, sharp, and elegant. I think we all agree which one our favorite  quote here is :)). For such a big theme, I can make it sure this is a watchable film.

The cast is phenomenal. Unexpectedly, Affleck as a leader cast gives a terrific performance. With his expert in rescue mission, He keeps calm like feels no emotion. I think he deserves at least a nominee in Academy. His promising works so far will place him as the next Robert Redford, Clint Eastwood, and Mel Gibson. The other cast-Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston-are undoubtedly superb. They can bring the balance situation between serious, tense, and humor.

The acclaimed composer Alexandre Desplat supports the thrilling scenes by composing a gripping score. Not too characterized, but it’s good.

Well, if you are expecting a good thriller which is not only easy to follow and has standard duration, but also smart, I’ll recommend this one.

For a second, after watching this, I realize something. How a Hollywood (fake or not) film can be a ‘deathly weapon’ for some country.

–HW (8.1/10)–


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