Wednesday 12 December 2012

Argo Review

If you'd have told me ten years ago that Ben Affleck would have directed, produced and starred in one of the best films of the year, an Oscar front runner no less, I would have told you to go jump back up your mother. But blow me down, he's only gone and bloody done it. Over the last few years, Ben Affleck has carved himself a credible career as a brilliant director and Argo may be his best outing yet.

Argo tells the story of a group of six US diplomats who escape the US embassy after the Militants storm the building, taking over fifty hostages. The thing is, the Militants don't know they've escaped and it's only a matter of time before they find out, so the US government has to act fast to get those people out, but how? On bikes? Hell no, disguised as a Canadian film crew making a science fiction picture, yeah that will do the trick.

This is a great film, it has a real old school feel about it. Ben Afflecks directing is simple and allows the story and characters to shine. He reminds me a bit of Clint Eastwood in terms of both performance and directing. Ok, so they may have taken somewhat of an artistic licence with the story, stretching the truth a little bit but what does that matter? It adds to the story, to the thrilling tension as they make their escape. Not a great deal actually happens in this film and at two hours, it's also a little bit too long. I found that I liked the first half more then the second,  as they plan the production on this fake movie and organise fake identities for the people they're saving. It's the Hollywood element that makes it work, a political true story where Hollywood saves the day, the Academy voters love that shit. And who doesn't love John Goodman, who is wonderful as special effects and makeup artist John Chambers? However, it's Alan Arkin who steals the show as fictional producer Lester Siegel, who gives the film its much needed comic relief.
After a slight dip in the second act, things get right back on track for the ending, which may be a little cliched but works brilliantly. You get completely caught up in the rush of the will they, won't they make it? The excitement builds and builds to a thrilling and nerve-racking suspenseful climax that makes the two hour running time almost worth the wait.  Go and see it, here's the trailer.

So what do you think of Affleck's directing? Does he have a chance of winning the Oscar? And is Alan Arkin the best thing in the film for you? Let me know by commenting, liking and sharing below!

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