Rarely is a film released with as much attention to detail, as much craft,or as much palm-sweat-inducing tension as Argo. Ben Affleck has done an incredible job turning the infamous “Canadian Caper” story into a masterful film. Every actor involved plays their parts perfectly.
The most impressive thing about Argo, though, is that every scene in the film means something. Every bit of dialogue and every second of film are so carefully planned that it results in an extremely solid movie that makes you think just as often as sweat.
The plot takes place in three main locations. Tony Mendez, played by Ben Affleck, is a CIA agent sent to Iran to free six American diplomats, who are hiding out in the house of a Canadian ambassador after Iran’s citizens effectively wage war on the USA. Mendez comes up with the brilliant scheme of disguising all six of them, and himself, as a Canadian film crew scouting locations.
The second part of the movie takes place in Hollywood, and, for the most part, provides the comic relief. Makeup artist John Chambers and director Lester Seigel assist the operation by setting up a fake studio. The last part of the film takes place in Washington, DC, where Mendez’s spy agency is located; this is where the operation is organized. The fact that this film is based on a true story makes everything even crazier.
Even if you are unfamiliar with the original story you can easily follow along because every part of the film is perfectly paced.
Argo is the best movie of the year, and a serious Oscar contender. If you haven’t seen it yet, then either make your way to a theatre immediately or, in the words of Lester Seigel, “Argo fuck yourself.”
5 stars out of 5.