October 17, 2012

Argo (2012)

I wasn’t expecting too much from this, after having seen the trailer. It was basically a collection of wide-rimmed glasses and moustaches wobbling about worried about how Iran is evil. Maybe with a bit of Affleck to spice things up as a sort of Bourne/Bond of the 70’s. But alas, to my pleasant surprise, it ended up being a wonderful thriller, without too much of the cheap action that a rewrite of history could entail (I’m looking at you Munich). You can really see Affleck maturing in his career as a director in this one. From small town crime/heist films (Gone Baby Gone / The Town) he is now tackling International hostage crisis in Iran, based on true events, no less. I really liked the pace, I didn’t feel bored nor did it feel like it was trying too hard to put me at the edge of my seat with car chases or fights (Taken 2 review to come). Even the final stretch felt more like a calculated suspense scene than police cars chasing a plane. Overall it was fun to watch, the 70’s glasses and moustaches did not distract at all and actually worked really well to recreate the era, and despite some Canadians feeling that this film robbed Canada of the extent of its role in the rescue of those hostages, I feel it worked really well as a stand alone film. Yes, it can get a little anti-Iran at times, and arguably the Iranians had plenty of reason to be angry after the US granted asylum to their dictator. Yes there are some stereotypically bearded brown men that are supposed to be antagonists to a western audience. So what. The revolutionary guards right after the revolution were most probably ruthless and angry, as they probably still are considering they are basically political police. It is after all a Hollywood film, with things like John Goodman and Alan Arkin cracking jokes about fake movies back in Hollywood. I don’t expect it to be very realistic or sensible to international politics. Highly recommended.