Argo is a fast paced fact based movie. It's 1980 and Iran is seething. Finally the embassy is overrun and hostages are taken. However, six Americans manage to slip out the back door and land at the Canadian ambassador's home. Now what?
The embassy scenes of shredding, hostility, panic, and fear sets the pace for this film. As it zooms back and forth from Washington to Tehran, we feel the frustration and helplessness. What will the US do? The option discussion is hilarious, despite its serious nature. How can you get six Americans out of Iran - by bicycle across snowy mountainous landscape? Ludicrous. Or how about as a Canadian film crew scouting locations? Insane? Yes, but that's what Tony Mendez, a State Dept. super spy suggests. Phone calls and trips to Hollywood help set up a fake company for a fake movie with fake staff - it's going to be a science fantasty film named Argo.
All systems go. By this time, your heart is pounding and we haven't even started an escape scene yet. When Tony alias Kevin shows up with full packets of documentation, the six Americans have only two days to memorize new identities and knowledge on movie making. They are summoned to the Grand Bazaar, tested amidst swarms of protesters. Iranians are snapping photos, trying to match up pictures with shredded material. They are figuring out from body counts that Americans are missing. Will they tie it to this Canadian film crew?
Nerves are frayed. Chances of being killed are off the chart. Can they make it to the airport, get through three security checks, and board a Swissair plane to Toronto?
Argo is a super exciting, sweaty palms, increased heartbeat thriller. Ben Affleck has directed a probable Academy Award nominee - it is that good. Great performances by him, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and more. Go see it. Pay full price. And Argo...________ self (fill in the blank). When you see the movie, you'll laugh at that tag line. Argo is a winner.
Joanne Faries, originally from the Philadelphia area, lives in Texas with her husband Ray. She considers herself fortunate to be able to pursue a writing career after eons in the business world. Joanne enjoys reading and movies, and is the film critic for the Little Paper of San Saba.