In 1979 Iranian militants seized the American embassy after the United States allowed the recently unseated Shah into the U.S. for medical treatment. During taking of the embassy 6 Americans escaped, taking refuge in the Canadian embassy resulting in an elaborate plot by the CIA in which the 6 would pose as filmmakers.
Ben Affleck (Tony Mendez), Bryan Cranston (Jack), Alan Arkin (Lester Siegel), John Goodman (John Chambers), Victor Garber (Ken Taylor), Tate Donovan (Bob Anders), Clea DuVall (Cora), Scoot McNairy (Joe Stafford), Kyle Chandler (Hamilton), Christopher Denham (Mark).
Argo begins by jumping straight into the moments leading up to the seizing of the American embassy and escape of the 6 Americans to the Canadian embassy. From there the film focuses on the role of Tony Mendez as he crafts a plan to extract the 6 posing as Hollywood filmmakers in one of the most unusual plots ever concocted by the CIA. Although the plot sounds somewhat dry, the film moves amazingly quick and does a wonderful job of capturing audience interest.
Acting was surprisingly good with Affleck doing well while putting in double-duty as Director. Arkin also did very well bringing good energy to the film. Cranston, Goodman, and the remainder of the supporting cast was solid and entertaining throughout.
Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were well done and the film felt like 1979. The use of actual film clips and other period pieces brought a wonderful authentic feel to the film, which was confirmed by comparison scenes shown during film credits. Effects were good and fit the film well. Dialogue was nicely done and moved the story along at a great pace. Sound and soundtrack were both well done.
Overall Argo was a well done political drama with plenty of stars delivering quality acting, an entertaining and educational storyline, that moves along at a good pace. With numerous awards and nominations, Argo is well worth watching if you have any interest in the Iran hostage crisis, political films, or movies based on true events.
With some foul language and violent images, this should be fine for older teens and above.
Argo is no longer showing in any Littleton, Colorado movie theatres.
copyright ©2013 Dave Riedel
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