Argo (2012)

Why on earth, you may be asking yourself, is Schlock Wave willing to pay exorbitant ticket fees to see a Ben Affleck drama about the Iran hostage crisis? The answer is, of course: movie roulette. Yes, the  game strikes a second time and, believe it or not friends – we are two for two. My first experience, Spike Lee’s Red Hook Summer was delightful, even in its horror, and much like Argo is a movie I never, ever would have chosen to see unless the rules of the game dictated so.

So, Argo. What did I know about this before I sat my butt down in the dirty theater seat? Drama and Ben Affleck. That’s really it. Did I know it had to do with the Iran hostage crisis? No. Seeing as how I’d dismissed all media attention to this movie I had no idea what I was in for. At first I thought this was gonna be a drag – something along the lines of Munich. Luckily the movie is rife with large eyeglasses, big beards and feathered hair. Couple the late-70’s aesthetics with a covert CIA mission involving a fake b-movie production and I was in.

Ben Affleck plays Tony Mendez, a renegade-ish CIA guy who specializes in getting Americans out of tricky situations. He’s tasked with figuring out how to get six Americans in hiding out of Iran safely. The situation seems hopeless – other CIA guys are proposing the Americans in question bike 300 miles to the Turkish border. Mendez comes up with an idea even wackier – let’s have them pose as a Canadian film crew scoping out the scene for shooting the science-fiction film Argo. Preposterous, right? Well, I knew before going into this that the idea worked and the Americans made it out safely, but I was still on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen. I guess that’s what a movie like this is going for?

Ultimately, this movie’s pretty good; even Ben Affleck managed not to bother me too much. While the material is obviously pretty heavy, the movie’s got a constant lightness to it – in part to Affleck’s seeming aloofness, but also maybe because the premise of the operation was so incredibly absurd, and most definitely because I already knew how it was going to turn out. My biggest beef with the film is the under-use of one of my favorite actors, John Goodman. More Goodman, please!


1 Response to “Argo (2012)”

  1. 1 ladyfaceladyface
    November 29, 2012 at 11:06 am

    You are the fourth person and second respected movie critic who had recommended this movie to me… And yet, really? Ben Affleck with 70s styling?! Everything in my body is telling me, “No… NO!”

    I’ll chalk it up to John Goodman’s ever-awesome presence and give it a go.

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