Argo, Film Review
Ben Affleck brings the true story of Tony Mendez to the big screen.
Mendez was a CIA operative, who specialized in ex-filtration.
During the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis, Mendez was brought in to form a plan to get six American Embersy workers who has managed to escape before being captured, out of Iran.
With most plans unfeasible Mendez comes up with a plan for a bogus movie to be filmed in Iran. He then contacts his contacts in Hollywood, and together they find a script and storyboard together for the fake film and put advertisements in Vanity Fair.
This makes the film look legit. With the backing of Oscar-winning makeup artist John Chambers (played by John Goodman). Mendez plan is ready to go.
Mendez heads to Iran undercover as the Canadian film producer to scout film locations for the fake film. But like all best laid out plans thing to start to go wrong.
The film movies along nicely and Affleck does a great job behind the camera as well as in front. He really captures the look of the era, though there are a few minor mistakes like the Hollywood sign being in disrepair. (When these events took place the Hollywood sign had already been fixed for four years.)
You also get a feeling that Mendez is in danger from the locals. This is done very well when he is in a market place taking photos to keep with his cover.
With the exception of Mendez and the guys in Hollywood helping him, the other character seem very two dimensional and not very fleshed out.
In some area the Iranians are portrayed a raving mob, but this has been done to add to the tension.
One of the highlight of the film comes at the end, the post-credits sequence shows real-world photos of Tehran at the time, matched with stills from the film: they’re impressively similar.
Argo is worth a watch. It is an interesting story and shows some of America’s foreign policy for the time. I don’t think I would sit down to watch this one again.
Argo also shows that Affleck has the potential to go and join some of the great directors.
I give Argo 3 out of 5.
Lester Siegel: You’re worried about the Ayatollah? Try the WGA.