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Argo Reviewed

Updated: Friday, October 12 2012, 11:53 PM CDT

Bettie’s Take on Argo –

Argo is the mostly true story of a 32-year old secret - the unlikely CIA mission to rescue 6 Americans from Iran. It takes place simultaneously in 3 worlds: the tense Canadian ambassador's home in Tehran where the Americans are hiding, the frantic offices of the US government trying to come up with a plan, and the make-believe world of Hollywood that needs to help create a believable framework for the scheme.

Ben Affleck does a good job in the lead as CIA agent Tony Mendez, but he turns in an even better performance as the film's director. He captures the utter chaos of the fall of the US embassy at the beginning of the film, and he strings out the tension during the group's daring escape.

John Goodman and Alan Arkin provide much-needed comic relief as two Hollywood honchos who agree to front a fake sci-fi movie as a cover story for the mission. Throughout the movie, there are glimpses of the hostages still inside the embassy and the struggle to come up with a public policy to deal with the situation.

In the end, Argo turns out to be an uplifting and inspirational story that shows how people - and countries - can step up as heroes when the need arises. Argo is rated R (really borderline PG-13) for mild violence and language.

Ken’s Take on Argo –

Argo is Ben Affleck’s third movie behind the camera.  After watching this, you realize that the Director’s chair is where he’s belonged the whole time.  Argo is a history lesson about the 52 Americans that were taken hostage for 444 days in 1979 in Iran. Six Americans were able to secretly escape so the C.I.A. make a plan to shoot a fake extraterrestrial movie called Argo in Iran to save them. Even though this event occurred before Affleck was even 10, he found the topic interesting enough to film it.  His attention to detail on casting look-alikes of the CIA officials with acting chops and even the 1980 wardrobes makes the film authentic.  I believe Ben should have cast someone else instead of himself as Tony Mendez, the Latino CIA operative that starts this whole mission.  I don’t know who I would have chosen, but I believe someone hispanic would have been better giving Affleck one job on the film.

Argo’s pacing is very similar to Apollo 13.  I was on the edge of your seats waiting to see if the CIA can really pull this off just like I was captivated by the astronauts trying to pull off their mission.  I don’t know if it will be the classic that Apollo 13 is, but during a time when we just had 4 American hostages in Libya killed, it is just as inspiring.  Argo lays it on thick when the CIA specialists are trying to get through the airport in Iran adding loud sound to make our hearts jump, but if for a moment we put ourselves in their shoes, we would be scared out of our wits.  This alone is worth the whole film.

To see the Argo trailer, go to      Argo Reviewed

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