Argo fuck yourself
That’s sort of the mantra in Argo, repeated between a few characters. It’s tempting to say on public, but it only really works if people have seen them movie.
I’m a fan of Ben Affleck. I don’t think he is a horrible actor 1, and I’m a fan of his directing work. At this point I’d say he’s batting three for three. 2 Without running out and re-watching Gone Baby Gone and The Town, I think Argo is his best yet. It felt like it was the most well-rounded film.
One of the things I love about movies that are based off of real events is that they have the potential to do what Affleck did in Argo. He used actual news footage and photographs. I love when directors do that for these films. It’s a nice touch and seeing Walter Cronkite and Tom Brokaw actually talking about the current events (at the time) is just kinda cool, unless you are younger or just don’t know who those men are. I think this also helps really set the tone for the film. It allows people like me who weren’t even thought of at the time to get a taste for how this event gripped the nation while helping older audience members to relive these events that they lived through and witnessed at home.
The movie is fairly intense. Gritty may not be the right descriptor, but every moment in Iran is intense and even though you may know what happens 3 you are still tense watching those scenes unfold, especially the opening with the embassy being taken over.
That’s where the humor comes in and really works. Alan Arkin and John Goodman sort of carry that weight and they do it well. It’s also where you see “Argo fuck yourself” thrown around and really, when Mendez (Affleck) uses that later in a darker situation, it lets you relax briefly as well.
The cast helps. John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston’s names alone should get your attention. They all stand their ground and the rest of the cast is wonderful as well.
Argo is just intense and is a great thriller. People who hate on Affleck’s acting career should be happy to see him directing, because he isn’t really struggling in that department.