During the 1979 siege of the American embassy in Tehran, six Americans escaped with their lives. They were taken in by the Canadian Ambassador and eventually Canada helped these patriots back to the United States. It was a huge victory for Canada and a major event in Canadian history.
In 1981, the TV movie “Escape from Iran: The Canadian Caper” starring Canadian thespian Gordon Pinsent played the heroic ambassador.
This whole event was only half the truth. Recently this event was declassified by the CIA and more light was shed on the historical event. “Argo” tells the rest of the story.
“Argo” is actually the name of a science fiction film that was scouting in Tehran during the crisis. The film was never made and now we know it was actually a CIA front.
The six American hostages were actually smuggled out of the country using Canadian papers and disguised as a film scouting crew.
Ben Affleck, director of “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town”, delivers his biggest film to date with this riveting true story.
Affleck’s leap to the director’s chair has been a smooth and electrifying transition as each of his films has been a calculated choice that has allowed the actor evolve into one of Hollywood’s most exciting directors. “Argo” is the next step.
“Argo” is the biggest film he has done to date because it’s set in the 1970s, takes place mostly in a foreign country and has to be displayed in a thriller mold.
Affleck has done wonders with his thriller styled pacing and “Argo” has some really intense moments. But it does feel really long. Affleck could have tightened the film up some.
Affleck’s performance as the leader of the CIA group who smuggled the hostages out is quite good and shows Affleck is still a good actor but direction seems to be his calling. Victor Garber does a really good job as the Canadian Ambassador and the film still keeps the Canadian involvement heroic. We also get really solid performances from John Goodman and Alan Arkin as the Hollywood people who maintain the CIA cover story.
This is a really intelligent and fun movie. This is a movie for fans of thrillers, history and political intrigue. Affleck has done another amazing job and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
4.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer