film reel image

film reel image

Friday, September 27, 2013

Argo 2012 * * * 1/2 Stars

Director: Ben Affleck
Year: 2012
Rated R
Rating: * * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston

Argo is Ben Affleck's third feature film next to The Town (2010) and Gone Baby Gone (2007). Based on the true story of the rescuing of six hostages from Iran in 1979 (by way of fabricating a fictitious story of a movie being filmed), this is by the book, meat and potatoes filmmaking at its finest. Argo is very well done, has an extremely focused way of storytelling, and provides an accurate look of the late 70's culture. The only misstep in this exercise may very well be Affleck giving the lead role to himself. He plays a C.I.A. infiltration specialist (Tony Mendez) who goes in enemy territory to aid the hostages and get them back to the states. Affleck is not a bad actor by any means. However, when he tries to do two things at once (starring in his movies and directing of course), his performances suffer (this is also evident in The Town). During the two hour running time, his screen presence is somewhat effective but he mugs to the camera quite frequently and delivers his lines in a sort of wooden fashion.

In the end though, Argo is a safe film. It doesn't take any risks, it's not entirely compelling, and it doesn't grip you like it should. However, the Academy disagreed and gave it 2012's Best Picture award. Again, this I feel, was the Academy being safe just like the movie. There's no doubt that Argo is a solid vehicle. However, it's more of a movie to admire, not embrace.

Written by Jesse Burleson

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