First, let’s just get this out of the way, the only reason why the CIA gives a rats ass about Iran is the fact that it has one of the largest proven oil reserves. That being said, Argo begins with a montage of stock footage and a brief narrative history lesson on Iran’s political chaos and succession of dictators/supreme leaders in the 20th century leading up to the year of the infamous hostage crisis that we all know lasted until the minute after Reagan was sworn in – immediately arousing suspicions of a conspiracy, known as the October Surprise Theory. But that’s another story, probably for the limousine liberals like Oliver Stone and Michael Moore.
Anyway, Ben Affleck not only struggles to convince us that he is to be taken seriously as filmmaker, but also that this so-called taut, suspenseful, political caper thriller of six American diplomats who evade capture and are holed up in Iran is “based” on a true story – when in fact the actual escape depicted in this movie orchestrated by super shaggy exfiltration CIA expert, Tony Mendez, (played none other than hero Ben) was a complete fabrication and distortion (with maybe the exception of the shuttle bus engine not starting right away) and just an excuse for him to create nonexistent tension with cross cut editing and extreme close ups of all the diplomats sweating bullets trying to board a plane out of Dodge.
But don’t trust me, the side by side stills comparing images of 1980 vs. Ben’s vision during the end credits are proof positive on just how accurate this romp was or it’s sad attempt for authenticity. And yes I understand it’s only a fucking movie and the concept of dramatic license, but if you can believe this than you probably believe that Ben and Matt actually penned Goodwill Hunting.
To be fair I did find the cover story of a phony Hollywood sci-fi movie production to be fun and amusing, but it was killed by contrived snappy, cute dialogue delivered by Alan Arkin and John Goodman.
But it was credible enough to enamor all those old fogies like Rex Reed who’s year’s favorites include Hope Springs, and also able to distract them evil Iranians who were busy playing aliens and shooting finger space guns at each other before they jumped into cars attempting to chase a down a 747 plane as it’s taking off. Whoa, that sure was a close call! For a minute there I actually thought that they would paint the plane into a corner and kill them all! But thank God Ben saves the day and God Bless America.
“It’s a little like masturbation. You gotta know what you want, know
where you are going, it’s intuitive.” – Ben Affleck on directing himself