Directed by Ben Affleck
Written by Chris Terrio
Starring Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston and John Goodman
A fictionalised account of a bizarre real-life rescue operation, Argo is the story of a CIA exfiltration expert charged with sneaking home a group of fugitive democratic personnel out of the home of the Canadian ambassador in revolutionary Iran in 1980. When all seemingly sensible avenues are exhausted, only the insensible remains: to have the group pose as Canadian filmmakers location scouting for a sci-fi film.
Argo has an impressive cast and crackling dialogue, it’s even very funny in places. However there’s no real sense of danger. The movie points out early on how failure in this mission would alter history itself. Since we don’t live in the world they describe in this failure scenario, even someone unfamiliar with the story can guess how it all pans out, so when the film contrives to create will-they-make it moments of tension, it can’t help but fail.
It also needs to be said (since this is a site with “comic” right there in the name) that it’s a shame the real-life contribution of comics legend Jack Kirby is glossed over. Kirby created concept art for the fake movie in the real CIA operation and is never mentioned in Argo. The art just “appears”. It’s a shame, is all.
Still, Argo is a very entertaining way to spend two hours in the company of some very talented actors giving every scene their all. Also, it’s nice to see Clea DuVall in anything.