zaterdag 24 januari 2015

100 Movie Challenge 2015 - # 14: Argo

Director: Ben Affleck
Genre: Drama/ Thriller
Runtime: 120 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Victor Garber, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina, Zeljko Ivanek, Titus Welliver, Keith Szarabajka, Bob Gunton, Richard Kind, Richard Dillane, Omid Abtaho, Page Leong, Farshad, Cea DuVall, Sheila Vand, Ryan Ahern, Bill Tangradi, Jamie McShane, Tate Donovan, Matthew Glave, Roberto Garcia Christopher Stanley

Description: Acting under the cover of a Hollywood producer scouting a location for a science fiction film, a CIA agent (Ben Affleck) launches a dangerous operation to rescue six Americans in Tehran during the U.S. hostage crisis in Iran in 1980.

Review: November 1979, Iranian students occupy the American embassy in Teheran, to enforce extradition of the Shah. Over fifty Americans were taking hostage and were released after fourteen days, after the Shah died. Six embassy staff members did manage to flee on that same day to the Canadian embassy. With a science fiction movie as a cover, they managed to escape after three months. In 1997, Bill Clinton released information about this mission, with a big role for CIA man Tony Mendez. This is a perfect story for a movie.
Director Ben Affleck choose Rodrigo Prieto as his cinematographer, who is known as the cameraman for Alejandro Gonzálex Iñárritu. This makes all the images authentic. This sets the film of to a good start and the thriller plot can develop. “Argo” looks perfect as a time period piece, with the characters constantly smoking, big glasses and televisions with buttons. In the second half of the film, the pace gets faster. This is a good thing. The movie is build slow and then picks up the pace.
“Argo” does have its weak points. Director Affleck is great, leading actor Affleck, who looks like Al Pacino in “Serpico”, doesn’t manage to convince you completely. As a CIA man he does, but the demons he has (drinking, failed fatherhood) don’t really reach the audience the way it should have. A strong opponent could have covered it up a bit, but the powerful performances are given by John Goodman and Alan Arkin, who have supporting roles.
I understand the success of “Argo”, it’s a true story about a heroic escape plan, and I liked it. The change of pace works well and Ben Affleck did a good job as a director. “Argo” is a good film.

Rating: 3,5/ 5

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