Argo is an excellent new thriller set during the Iran Hostage crisis as the CIA attempts to extract six diplomats who escaped as the US embassy was stormed.
With Argo Ben Affleck proves that his directing on The Town wasn’t a one off. He has an excellent cast to work with including himself (as Tony Mendez), Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Clea DuVall, Bryan Cranston and Scoot McNairy.
It would have been easy for the Iranians to have been portrayed as simplistic villains. Yet the opening few minutes paint a picture that both tells the audience the history of Iran how Iran came to be in the state it was and how western nations played a significant role in precipitating the situation.
This film isn’t some dour history lesson. It’s a tense thriller that finds moments of humour to break the tension alongside moments that reveal the fine line between civilised society and the horror of revolution. The US elements could be farcical if the consequences of white men sitting in rooms thousands of miles from the situation weren’t potentially so serious. Mendez’s plan to invent a fake film (Argo of the title) to act as cover for the extraction sounds farfetched. That it is the best thought through, prepared and most likely to succeed is in some ways a little scary.
The period detail is excellent and the cast deserve credit for being prepared to sport so much bad hair for the film.
I’d highly recommend Argo.