Argo is the first movie I have seen in what I would call the “end of the year” or “last quarter” of the annual box office calender. Typically, this quarter is going to be when the best movies of the year debut, save a few in the summer's blockbuster season. Films in this season are generally where the vast majority of award nominees come from. http://youtu.be/w918Eh3fij0
In his third outing as lead-man behind the camera, Ben Affleck directs the tense at times, humorous at others film Argo. Set in 1979, Argo follows the story of the Iranian hostage crisis during Jimmy Carter's presidency. When the US Embassy is raided by Iranian radicals following political unrest in Iran, six embassy officials escape while everyone else is taken captive. It's only a matter of time before the Iranian radicals put together the missing pieces, revealing that several embassy members were still hiding out somewhere in the capital of Tehran. Meanwhile, back in the states, Ben Affleck's character (yes, he likes to be on both sides of the camera) is a CIA extraction specialist who comes up with a fairly elaborate, unconventional strategy for rescuing the Americans.
What follows is a nail-biting, taut thriller filled with suspense and uncertainty as the whole plan spins into motion under the veil of a hostile Iranian habitat.
Through Argo, Affleck demonstrates yet again, and possibly in his most convincing offering thus far, that he is fully capable behind the camera. I would say he is probably a better director than an actor, but I've never been much of an Affleck fanboy. The movies he is in that I do enjoy are not so because of his involvement on screen. The movie feels right at home in the time period it's set in. The way it is filmed is integrated with actual news footage to create a very authentic feel.
Is this a movie you must go see? Probably not. It's a very well made movie. The last 45 minutes are really intense. Maybe it's the lack of interest that Affleck's character adds to the narrative as the central character, but it's missing some of that connection factor you get with a really good character.
Don't get me wrong, it's a good movie. I would definitely watch it at home, but it's gotta be something special for me to send you out to the local multiplex. If you haven't seen Affleck's previous directoral effort, The Town, - you should. It is still my favorite of his three movies.
Argo was well casted, cohesive in its diverse chapters, directed to have an authentic tone, and scripted to keep you on the edge of your seat. It's a solid movie for sure.