Argo has a very detailed production, capturing the political and historical atmosphere of its time period. From the shots in Iran to the confines of the CIA and Hollywood, the movie immerses the audience in the ’70s and brings out the tension and humor in the story.
The film compares the ruses run by the CIA to the smoke and mirrors of Hollywood, which is funny and entertaining. Tony Mendez (Affleck) enlists a producer and makeup pioneer to create a fake movie to turn six ordinary folks into a film crew scouting for a location.
The editing and pacing of the movie are superb, creating a completely tense and edge-of-your-seat final act. The film cuts back and forth between the Iranians who are slowly catching up the ruse, to the CIA pushing a last-minute “Hollywood Option”, and to Mendez and the survivors as they make an escape that is so ludicrous it can only happen in the movies.
The whole cast delivers and adds to the overall effect of the movie. Alan Arkin provides the best catchphrases in the film.
Having Ben Affleck as the lead though puts a kink in the enjoyable film. His steely understated resolve isn’t as potent as it should be. Then there’s the obvious whitewashing of the lead role.
Miscasting aside, Argo is an entertaining and well-crafted film that also has something to say.
Albeit whitewashed, Argo is an exciting, detailed, and well-executed political thriller mixed with Hollywood satire.