Thursday, 15 November 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Argo

IMDB: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Roger Ebert: 4/4
What The Flick: 9.3/10

Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Victor Garber
Directed By: Ben Affleck
Written By: Chris Terrio

Release Date: 12 October 2012
Described by IMDB as: "In 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans are taken hostage. However, six manage to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA is eventually ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devises a daring plan: to create a phony Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some trusted Hollywood contacts, Mendez creates the ruse and proceeds to Iran as its associate producer. However, time is running out with the Iranian security forces closing in on the truth while both his charges and the White House have grave doubts about the operation themselves."

Well, lets be real. Ben Affleck lucked out on the timing of this movies release. After the whole Libya, Benghazi, protests killing an American diplomat last month, this fits perfect for this film. Way more people are going to be interested in this film because of this, which is definitely good, because its a really interesting part of history.

Despite the fact that I knew how this film was going to end, because it is based on a true story, it really didn't take away from the stress and thrill of the film. There were so many times when you really didn't know how it was going to turn out for them(even though you really did). Especially at the end, you were really quite terrified for them.

I liked that they explained some of the history of the relationship between America and Iran in the beginning to set up the story, I liked that when they really didn't hold back on the truth of it, that the blame for the situation was really based on the mistake of America in taking in an awful dictator for protection, rather then him getting justice at the hands of his people.  I'm not for vigilante justice, but in some cases, like this, dictators diserve whatever the people plan to give them. I think this film showed some good for Jimmy Carter, since so many people have negative feelings for him. I also really liked his "cameo" at the end during the credits. When I heard his voice coming over the speakers I was pretty excited. I also think its important to remember the incredible risk the Canadian Diplomat  took by letting these six people stay in his house.

Thusfar, Ben Affleck has had an incredible writing/directing career. I mean, if his acting portfolio wasn't enough, he has Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now Argo under his belt for writing and directing. All of these films have above a 7.5 rating on IMDB and above a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Argo will definitely be fitting in nicely with this line up. I will be shocked it Ben Affleck doesn't get an oscar nod for both directing and acting in this film. Although, his acting mostly understated, and he really doesn't have a whole lot of speaking, you still get the intensity in his performance.

I absolutely LOVED Alan Arkin and John Goodman in this film. They were hilarious, and their chemistry and friendship was amazing. They played an important role in the mission, and the film. They were also involved in one of the most thrilling and anxious parts of the film. Bryan Crasnton was also great in this film, but sort of an asshole who almost completely screws everything up. 
So, what do I think of this film? I loved it. I always enjoyed the story when I learned about it school, so to see it in film was pretty great. I think its amazing that everyone involved were forced to keep what really happened a secret, when they could have taken full credit and been treated as heroes. I think its very important that the people responsible for saving these 6 men and women's lives. They show pictures of everyone involved in the mission during the credits, and man, did they cast well. All of the 6 refugees were spot on in casting, amazing really.

I'm going to give this film a 9.5/10, such a great film, and I think just about anyone would enjoy it. Even if you aren't into films about history, or that take place during different times, there is enough thrill and heart in this film to keep anyone interested. 

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