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Argo: Review

Posted 03/05/2013

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Argo

Photo Credit: Claire Folger

Just when you might start to think all Hollywood films are clichéd and predictable, a movie comes along that tells a totally fresh, imaginative adventure story. The inspiration? Er…real life! 'Argo' is a thrilling tale of a hostage rescue mission that would seem utterly implausible if it wasn't based on true events.

In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran is stormed, and its employees taken hostage. (For those of you who were born after Justin Bieber was already eating solid foods: Yes, this actually happened.) Six diplomatic staffers manage to sneak away and find refuge at the Canadian ambassador's house. But with the risk of being discovered increasing daily, their lives are in danger.

Enter Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck, who also directed the movie), an undercover CIA operative who specializes in getting people out of hostile countries safely. His so-crazy-it-just-might-work idea: The six escapees will pose as a crew scouting locations for a fake film called 'Argo', then saunter off to the airport. But even with the help of his boss (Bryan Cranston), and two hilariously cynical Hollywood veterans (legendary character actors John Goodman and Alan Arkin) who set up a sham studio to make the ruse seem authentic, the odds are not in Mendez's favor.

Following his excellent first two films, 'Argo' proves that Ben Affleck is a truly awesome director—and oh yeah, a darn good leading man too. He adds just enough humor to the movie, without resorting to corny action-movie-hero quips. The movie is full of riveting camera work and attention to period detail—OMG, those cars! Those mustaches! Those phones!

Fast-paced and suspenseful, this movie-about-a-fake-movie keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. Plus, it sheds light on a fascinating little-known episode of history. 'Argo' tells an inspiring story of nations cooperating, people risking their lives for others', and what can be accomplished with a little ingenuity…even in Hollywood.

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