Movie Review: Argo See This Movie!

I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

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I just didn’t know about Argo. Historical thriller/spy movie, directed by Ben Affleck? Ben Affleck, that I remember sitting on the sidelines, watching J. Lo perform “Jenny From the Block” when she returned to her old high school for a stunt on the Today Show? He looked like a damn drooling fool.

But people should be forgiven for mistakes made in the past. This was also the same Ben Affleck that won an Oscar for Screenplay with Good Will Hunting. So for life’s crazy moments, there are always some that bring you around to who a person really is. And Argo does that for Ben Affleck. Argo is a reminder of the Ben from 1997.

Spoilers here, folks. But you should really read on— the more ridiculous this true-story plot sounds, the better you’ll like the movie.

I didn’t know one thing about the real-life story behind Argo before watching it. But here it is, in a nutshell: in 1979, Iranian militants took over the US Embassy in Tehran, taking more than 50 hostages— the Iranian hostage crisis, as history tells it. However, 6 people were able to escape and took refuge at the home of the Canadian ambassador. The CIA, and Affleck’s character in particular, works with a Hollywood producer and makeup artist to advertise and promote a movie, called Argo, that will supposedly be produced in Iran. Of course, this is all a sham. Affleck goes to Iran as a producer of the film and this is the excuse for these hostages to leave— they were given Canadian passports and were now a “movie crew” rather than US Government employees.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, the story is true. Of course, like with any movie based on a true story, the writers and director take some liberty with embellishments, but the film is fascinating.

To alleviate the serious nature of the movie, the characters of John Goodman and Alan Arkin are wonderful. They play “Hollywood” just perfectly, giving the film a sense of humor. Victor Garber as the Canadian Ambassador is his usually awesome self. And Ben Affleck as the CIA agent saving the day is good, too. I didn’t like the whole side story of Affleck having trouble with his wife because he is never home, blah, blah, drivel, blah. That theme is just overused.

But if you want to learn something about a footnote to a bigger story in our Nation’s history, go see Argo. You’ll be glad you did— and you’ll be shaking your fist at the Academy for screwing Ben Affleck out of a nomination.

 

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