Argo is based on a true story of events in 1979 when Iranian revolutionaries storm the US embassy in Tehran, taking 52 American hostages. Six Americans escape unnoticed, and take refuge in the Canadian ambassadors residence.
Bryan Cranston ably supports Ben Affleck in this tense, sometimes darkly comic film. Image courtesy of Warner Bros
With time running out before they are discovered and with limited options at their disposal, the CIA turn to "extractor" Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) for help. Mendez hatches a plan to fly into Iran, and along with the captives, pretend to be a Canadian film crew scouting for 'exotic' locations to shoot their Sci-Fi movie, Argo. The problem is, their story needs credibility. Enter Hollywood make-up artist John Chambers (John Goodman), and producer Lester Siegel (Alan Arkin) who set up a fake film company with a screenplay, office and publicity, for the bogus "science fantasy" movie in the mould of Star Wars. The story builds gripping tension, especially after Mendez lands in Tehran and the revolutionaries realize that some captives have gone missing.
One of the most suspenseful scenes in the film where the captives visit the local market and encounter an angry, suspicious crowd. Photo courtesy Warner Bros.
The film is historically accurate, painstakingly capturing details of the time, although the ending has been spiced up for the audience. This suspenseful, engrossing tale is well-paced by Ben Affleck who also directs. The strong cast is ably supported by Bryan Cranston (as CIA man Jack O'Donnell, and of 'Breaking Bad' fame) who authorizes the mission. This widely acclaimed movie is well worth a look. 4 out of 5.
John Goodman and Alan Arkin play Hollywood movie execs. Goodman is in fine form and gets some of the best 'one liners' in the movie. Photo courtesy Warner Bros.