It’s like looking through a shoebox diorama with super marionettes from the old Thunderbirds television children’s show. Actors hobbling through the frame from the waist up so as not to see the puppeteer below manipulating them. Except Lady Penelope is replaced by even-minded, stone calm Canadians.
I realize this will not be an popular opinion of Argo. ( But I get so few hits, it matters little. ) I do see the value of returning to a 70’s style melodrama thriller, a melohiller? Yet Ben Affleck’s ( Tom Mendez, in real life ) lumbering, low, reactionary, frozen facial popsicle refused to melt even in the heat of the Iran sun. Yes, I realize this is a serious situation, but when a male American official tells Affleck he doesn’t trust him, and Ben raises a brow in astonishment: “What? Do you know who I am?”, it’s the high point of the movie.
Americans are trapped in Iran, not to mention the other hostages, which they rarely do, cause this is about Argo, a fake movie that is used as a guise to get the Americans out of the Canadian embassy after being attacked by the Iranians.
This is paint by numbers at its worst. Not only because it’s extremely boring, not because we have seen this a million times, but because it’s always happening. We are still at war, the Iranians and the entire region has been at war for what feels like forever.
Affleck waits at the ticket counter. The tickets are late. He asks the clerk to please look again, and magically they appear in time. Is this the true story? I never thought real life plays itself out like the movies with, thank god, unbelievable last minute saves.
I am not sure this qualifies as drama anymore or melodrama, perhaps a comedy of the absurd. Or the definition of doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome.
The life raft in an ocean of sand, thousands of miles away in Hollywood is Alan Arkin, the master of relating to the absurd. I beg you to watch CATCH-22 for a truly incredible journey into war, including a walk-on from Orson Wells!
Arkin and John Goodman steer the Argo from California, setting up all the details and lies that every Hollywood pictures needs to get made. Their one weapon is a small office with a phone, convincingly real.
Meanwhile Ben struggles to stare down hysterical, bearded, raging lunatics in a constant state of pms. There isn’t a single Iranian portrayed in a sane manner but one lonely housemaid, who while looking out her window sees three angry men with gun confront a fellow Iranian in an alley. They promptly shoot him after a few grunts.
She closes her drapes. Obviously the killing is not singled out to Americans, nor has it ever been.
Iran is the Planet of the Apes that Ben was watching with his son on television during an evening phone call and the inspiration for the entire sardonic hostage movie escape idea. Except it’s the Escape From The Planet of The Apes movie, wait… was that the version he was watching also? Oops.
It was a good idea that Affleck didn’t go to Iran clean-shaven, that would have gotten him killed almost right away. Not enough angry in Ben’s eyes to get out alive without a beard.
Wait a second, if the Americans had grown beards and the women dressed differently and covered their hair in local custom clothing, couldn’t they have probably easily walked out as Canadian Barbers?
The clean-shaven Americans were recognized, which almost caused them to be captured. Hi, clean-shaven American here, do you sell any Snickers bars? My sexy Jane Fonda wanna be GF is so damn hungry.
A bearded male in Iran is near indistinguishable from one another, except by the level of their rage about to be released.
Ok, so add a beard and anger in the eyes of the Americans, and it’s a plane ticket home.
UPDATE: Did this movie get an Academy Award? Has no one seen THE MASTER? I am at a loss to explain this. Is it fan boy Affleck joy riding? Can anyone explain this to me?