Friday, October 12, 2012
Thirty-five of the last 40 minutes of the film “Argo” are the most tense, finger biting, white knuckle, breath holding you will see on a movie screen this year. The first 80 minutes leading up to this segment are just a bit slow as the director has a couple of minutes of wasted ‘artistic’ shots and just one too many close ups of the star but more about the director and star in a few minutes.
The opening of the film gives a good history of the middle east in 2-3 minutes and then gets into the true account of the CIA going to rescue 6 Americans in Iran, who are hiding at the Canadian embassy, using a fictional Hollywood production company to get them out. Whether you remember what happened during that raid, or not, the outcome, your emotions, will be all over the place as it unfolds.
The script by Chris Terrio is taut, going from a take off of Hollywood personal with some sharp zingers to a fast heart beating will they or won’t they make it segment. Whether he, or the director, are responsible for the wasted five minutes, between where the movie should have ended and the interesting facts about what happened afterwards do not seem to jell with the rest of his script.
The cast of supporting players from the 6 Americans to the CIA people involved, the Iranians, the soldiers of that country and the staff of the American President all do admirable jobs so to say one is better than other would be unfair to all.
Now to the director and star who both just happen to be Ben Affleck. It seems the former played up the latter a bit too much and, sometimes, unnecessarily. This is Affleck’s 3rd time as a director and does his best job on “Argo”, especially that 35 minutes that will have you on the edge of your seat. He is also responsible for those unneeded 5 minutes that he acts in. He seems to be more comfortable as a director than as a 1980s CIA man, with way too much hair on his head and face and without the ‘heft’ of his fellow agents.
“Argo” is certainly a film to see and definitely should be seen on the big screen the first time. You will be hearing the name of the movie and the director when it comes to awards time.