The true story of the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis–the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. In 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans are taken hostage. However, six manage to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA is eventually ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devises a daring plan: to create a phony Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some trusted Hollywood contacts, Mendez creates the ruse and proceeds to Iran as its associate producer. However, time is running out with the Iranian security forces closing in on the truth while both his charges and the White House have grave doubts about the operation themselves.
Release Date: October 12, 2012; MPAA Rating: R (for language and some violent images); Genres: Action/Adventure, Adaptation, Comedy, Drama; Run Time: 2 hours.
Director: Ben Affleck
Cast: Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Bryan Cranston, Taylor Schilling, Scoot McNairy, Rory Cochrane, Christopher Denham, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Chris Messina, Zeljko Ivanek, Titus Welliver.
Lay and me saw this movie last weekend.
The story opens on November 4, 1979 when Islamist militants took control of the U.S. Embassy in Iran. 52 Americans were taken hostage and held for 444 days until their eventual release. But six American’s are in facility with direct access to the street, and are able to sneak out of the Embassy and find refuge at the home of the Canadian Ambassador. The CIA, lead by Affleck’s character, agent Tony Mendez, launches a plan to rescue the Americans by posing as producers of a fictional science fiction film. The idea was that Mendez would land in Iran and then convince the six Americans to assume roles as screenwriters, directors and co-producers of the film and they would all fly out of the country together once location scouting was complete in 48 hours.
In an effort to have the mission legitimized, Mendez recruited Hollywood producer Lester Siegel and Special Effects man John Chambers to green-light the script and give the entire project credibility.
It is an unbelievable tale you’d expect only from a Hollywood movie, only it happens to be true. Affleck sticks mostly to the facts of the true events and gives us a nail-biting thriller guaranteed to garner nominations for Best Picture, Best Director and most certainly Best Supporting Actor for Alan Arkin.
Every scene and every word of Argo rings authentic. Affleck, who received got great reviews for his last directors credit, The Town, looks to be at the top of his game with Argo, both as an actor and director.
The movie shifts between locations of Iran, Hollywood and both the CIA Headquarters and even the White House in this well told story. Each scene and character has the right atmosphere, and the suspense builds to the end.
Towards the end, despite knowing the outcome, we were both on the edge of their seats, and Affleck’s direction really played all the emotional drawstrings to keep the audience involved in the fates of the characters and caring for their return.This is definitely a film worth seeing. I give it an eight. (Now, Argo f’ yourself…you’ll understand after watching the movie.)