Reporting Julie Fisk
“Argo” is based on the amazing true story of 6 Americans who escaped the U.S. Embassy in Tehran when it was stormed in 1979. They eventually found shelter in the Canadian Ambassador’s home but were trapped there for 79 days. A plan was hatched by CIA Specialist Tony Mendez, played here by Ben Affleck, to get them out by pretending they were a Canadian Film Crew. Mendez sought the help of Hollywood big-wigs to make his fake movie believable & this is when “Argo” goes from being a historical re-creation to something more like “Ocean’s 11.” Alan Arkin and John Goodman are fantastic as the Hollywood Producer & Special Effects man who help Mendez.
“Argo” starts off with a bang, but it slows to a crawl while we wait for the great escape. The guy behind me even started snoring, but Ben Affleck, who also directs, eeks every ounce of drama out of the climax. People in the audience were cheering, including me & sleepy guy, and that’s why I’m giving “Argo” a B+.
Stay through the credits to find out what happened to the escapees later in life. It’s amazing how much each of them looks like the actor who plays them, except Tony Mendez who looks NOTHING like Ben Affleck. In fact, I found Affleck’s good looks distracting in “Argo.” I imagine he stands out anywhere, so it’s hard to believe Ben Affleck would go unnoticed in Iran circa 1980, even with that goofy 70’s hair & beard. For the record, this will be the one and ONLY time you will hear me complain about Ben Affleck’s good looks.