Written by / 2/24/2013 / 4 Comments / , , , , , ,

ARGO

year: 2012 cast: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston rating: **
ARGO, directed by and starring Ben Affleck, receiving rave reviews all across the board, has the makings of a great story – not only because it’s a true one: Declassified by the CIA since the nineties, dealing with the 1979 Iran Hostage Crisis, it's not the Embassy hostages we’re centering on. There were six people who stealthily escaped the takeover, hiding in the Canadian ambassador's house. The CIA is at a loss – they have only one idea concerning bicycles and it’s not very bright.

Enter Affleck’s Tony Mendez: we first see him waking up with an empty beer can on his dresser, so he’s got the makings of the typical maverick hero. While watching BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES on TV, Tony has an idea – become a producer of a bogus science fiction movie and, scouting a location in Iran, get the Americans out.

The Last Apes film sparked the fake movie idea
A fantastic premise and an opportunity to blend classic cult films with a modern thriller… And with John Goodman (as a makeup artist) and Alan Arkin (as a wry producer) on board the Hollywood end, ARGO just can’t miss… but it does. The six people that need saving have zero personality, making it hard to feel for their plight.

Although we see clips of hangings and executions in Iran, there's hardly a vibe of impending danger or threat. While the clever aspects, mixing a fake press conference for the sci-fi flick with Iranians making real demands, are edited nicely, the movie-making scheme, which had so much potential, feels rushed. And Affleck himself lacks the edge of a central character, much less a heroic one.

The best part is the last half hour as the seven (including Mendez), using fake passports as a Canadian production crew, move through an Iranian airport for the departing plane. Despite every “last minute” cliché thrown in the pot, as least there's some urgency. But with a lack of interesting or involving characters leading to the escape, ARGO falls short of the immense hype.
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4 comments:

  1. i think ben affleck is film poison. especially as a leading guy, i think he's just too dull to carry a movie on his own. i haven't seen any of the films he's directed though.
    great review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. the other movie he directed, THE TOWN, in my opinion, is also overrated. it's not bad, but ben's directing is kinda dull and cliche...

      Delete
    2. i agree H. thank you so much for posting. the true life character was Latino and perhaps a better suited actor, ethnically and otherwise, would have worked, so that Affleck could center on directing and maintaining suspense that lacked in this movie.

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