In November of 1979 52 Americans were held hostage in Iran for 444 days after a group of students took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. Unknown to the militants, 6 Americans managed to escape the compound and hide out at the Swiss and Canadian embassies. Argo is based on the joint effort by the CIA and Canadian government to rescue the Americans.
After 6 Americans are found to be hiding out at the Canadian Embassy after the storming of the U.S. Embassey , CIA specialist Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck)is tasked with coming up for a way to get them out of Iran and back on American soil. He comes up with a solution to create a fake science fiction movie, and have the six American’s pretend to be his film crew. With the help of the Canadian government he provides them with new identities and fake Canadian Passports, and thanks to makeup artist John Chambers (John Goodman) and Hollywood producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) he manages to get a script and start production on the flick. Time is running out however, and if Tony doesn’t get them out quickly he fears the plot will be foiled and the American’s captured or killed.
Argo is a cleverly written movie, with the right amounts of humor, action and tension infused into it. Ben Affleck has turned into a great director, and each movie he’s made has been better than the previous one. John Goodman and Alan Arkin really helped make the movie what it was. They provide a comedic edge to the film, which was necessary to help relieve the tension. It was also a nice touch to use the old Warner Brothers logo at the start of the movie, and have the picture look grainy as the movie opened to give you a sense of when it takes place. If there is a downside to the movie, it’s that they took a creative license to the facts and changed some elements of what really happened in order to add additional drama to the situation. If you are looking for the true story, make sure to read up about it and not take the movie as fact. That being said, the movie grips you from the start and it will probably see its fair share of nominations come awards season.
Ben Affleck’s Argo is worth seeing at the theatre, and it’s one that will probably fascinate you enough to look into the events afterwards to see what really happened during that time. It’s a movie that will stick with you long after it’s over.