Friday, October 26, 2012


Get out your fake storyboards and spy phones, we're reviewing Argo!
Lookit those eyes! Isn't Affleck saying, "c'mon America, give me another chance!"?
In the 1980's when enraged Iranians storm America's embassy and take hostages, 6 Americans sneak out and hide in the Canadian Ambassador's house. The best way the CIA can think to get them out is to  make a fake sci-fi movie and sneak them all out. Can they pull it off?

Argo is a great movie. It's suspenseful, funny, terrifying and fun. I think a lot of people are still skeptical Affleck can make/appear in something good, but he pulled it off this time.

What you'll notice first is that this is a beautiful period piece. It lives and breathes 1980's.  Everything is perfect from the cars, to the clothing, to the haircuts, to the smoking, to the TV footage. It's hard to tell what's recreated TV footage and what's straight taken from 70's broadcasts. The haircuts and mustaches alone are worth seeing!
This guy's haircut and mustache is the best. 
The second thing you'll notice is how terrifying it is.  To be in a situation like that, where you're surrounded by a mob of people who want to rip you limb from limb and you have to try your best to act's a special kind of horror movie.  This is the kind of movie that makes you remember how scary people can be. Give me werwolves, sea monsters, zombies, aliens, ghosts, chainsaw-wielding serial killers, cannibalistic hillbillies, even glittery vampires over people! And it's not just the Iranian people who are scary, they even show footage of Americans acting irrationally hateful. It's ghastly reminiscent of Nazi Germany or the Spanish Inquisition.

The pacing is perfect, there's never a dull moment. You're either laughing or you're leaning on the edge of your seat. They really do a killer job pushing all the buttons to make you wonder if and how they'll all get through this. And this is a film about a real life event we already know the outcome of going in!  This is also probably the first movie that uses resolution like it's supposed to. Most movies either overuse it to stuff in any exposition they didn't fit in before the climax, or else completely glaze over it and end the movie right after the last explosion. Here, I really love how after the tense roller coaster ride they give you a few minutes to sit back and enjoy the characters celebrating.  It's nice to catch your breath before the credits roll.
Alan Arkin is a national treasure.
This has an amazing cast and they all do incredibly well. Affleck, in the star role of Tony Mendez, has a brooding tiredness about him.  The standout is Alan Arkin, who steals every scene as the hilarious Lester Siegel. There's one dirty catchy line in particular I want the internet to start repeating, but I won't spoil it's specialness. John Goodman is also delightful as John Chambers, and Bryan Cranstan as usual acts the hell out of his part as Jack O'Donnell.

I should also mention this movie has great style. the opening credits are straight storyboards, and the closing credits have pictures of the actual people matched with actors from the movie. And the music, like the rest of the movie, is perfect period music, along with being catchy as hell.
I really like Clea DuVall in most of the things she's in.  She's also in American Horror Story Asylum
There's also this really cool spy undercurrent to it. Mendez is basically doing what James Bond does in a much more subtle way.  The spy aspect is so subtle you might miss the fake identities and the covert talking and the super secret phones. And it's even more cool that these are things that really happened.

Argo is a suspenseful, terrifying spy thriller that won't let you go until the very end.  It's funny when it wants to be and serious where it counts. I can't recommend seeing this enough.

THE GOOD: Great cast and great acting, perfect period piece, suspensful, terrifying and funny.

THE BAD: Uhhh, Jack Kirby wasn't mentioned?

THE VERDICT: $$$$ Definitely see it! It's a great movie that's a blast to watch.

MOVIES LIKE IT: Munic, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, The Debt

ONE-SCENE METAPHOR: The opening scene in which the Embassy is stormed. It's simply terrifying that these are real people, that people would go to these lengths, that you'd be trapped in a situation like this. The zombie apocalypse suddenly doesn't sound so scary.

No comments:

Post a Comment