The West

Movie Review: Truth stranger than fiction
Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston top the billing in political thriller Argo.


Movie: Argo
Review: Niall Boyle
Rating: 7/10

Ben Affleck’s latest offering, Argo, may lack in action but is a thrilling retelling of the Iranian hostage crisis.

This dramatisation focuses on the efforts to extract six American diplomats from the midst of a revolutionary Tehran.

In 1979, the sextet managed to escape the US embassy in the Iran capital—with revolutionaries holding the rest of their colleagues under armed captive.

Forced to hide out in the home of the Canadian ambassador, CIA exfiltration expert Tony Mendez (Affleck) latches onto an outlandish plan to walk the group out of Tehran’s airport—under the guise of anew Canadian action film crew.

The ragtag group must assume complex cover identities to fool the Iranian forces they are location scouting for anew movie, in the ilk of space operas like Star Wars.

Argo isn’t heavy on action sequences, but features some tight, claustrophic sequences with the endangered diplomats.

Mendez’s fly-in, fly-out mission to save the group isn’t without its hiccups.

Argo shines a light on Mendez’s battle to realise the improbable rouse —with the help of a few famous Hollywood confidants.

Bryan Cranston, of Breaking Bad, takes his latest big-screen role as Mendez’s heart-on-his-sleeve boss.

John Goodman portrays make-up artist supreme John Chambers, who was awarded the CIA’s highest civilian honour for his role, in what’s known as the ‘‘Canadian Caper’’.

Perhaps not Affleck’s most charismatic performance, Argo is a well-written and thought out piece of political drama.

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