Starring: Alan Arkin, Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Denham, Clea DuVall, John Goodman, Kerry Bishe, Rory Cochrane, Scoot McNairy, Tate Donovan, Victor Garber
Star rating: ***
When i saw the trailer for this film, my curiousity was piqued. It was based on a true story which had the historian in me wanting to know more about this extraordinary story. Ben Affleck is well known as an actor who has political inclinations and so his directorial debut was meant to be something to watch out for.
In 1979, six American Officials escape the US embassy in Tehran as it is overcome by pro-Ayotullah mob who keep the rest of the officials hostage. The six take refuge in a Canadian ambassador’s residence and meanwhile, back at the CIA headquarters, Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) an ex-filtration expert in getting Americans out of enemy territories, is given the case. Mendez cracks a plan to go to Tehran armed with six fake Canadian passports, posing as a Canadian film producer scouting a film location for a sci-fi film, Argo. To make it realistic, he enlists the help of Hollywood to vouch for him and they spread the news about the film despite the fact it will never be made.
As films go, this isn’t the fastest paced of films and it does take a lot of time for the film to get going. Ben Affleck is his usual stoic best and places the role of calm-under-pressure Tony Mendez. The film could have been a lot more complicated than it is which makes the story easy to follow for the audience. Affleck succeeds in taking the audience on the journey with him and that is where he succeeds. The audience is hooked on the mission from the word go and that makes it a watch able film.