Ben Affleck reinvented himself with his directorial debut Gone Baby Gone, proved the first wasn’t a fluke with the stunning The Town. With Argo, he places himself in the pantheon of the best filmmakers.
Based on a true story, Argo introduces us to real-life CIA honcho Tony Mendez (Affleck) who was slapped with a mission to rescue six Americans from their captors during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. It wasn’t a cakewalk, and Mendez and his team were briefed to pose as Canadian movie producers of a science fiction movie titled ‘Argo’, and fly out hostages as crew members.
How much of the film resembles the real incident is moot but the plan involves hiring a real producer, a fake script and even actors. Tabloids even carry reports of a Star Wars clone being made. Despite knowing fully well how the film ends, one can’t help but be thrilled by the cast in Argo.
Not only does writer Chris Terrio churn out the wittiest dialogue of the year but Affleck exacts the best performances of the year from Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin, John Goodman and even himself. Affleck tightens the plot to unbearable levels, and the final fifteen minutes that lead to events at an airport are nerve-wracking as hell. Argo is a saucy, taut and gripping watch, and is probably the funniest political satire since In The Loop.