Ben Affleck has found his calling…as a director. With Argo, he makes his third successful film (in my opinion) and shows us an ability to create nail-biting tension and tell tight, fast-paced narrative. It helps that the story is based on true events and is completely riveting.
Argo walks a fine line between reality and dramatized fiction. Writer Chris Terrio does an excellent job of telling the story as straight forward as he can, without sentimentality or political agenda. It is a rescue mission. Period. Terrio also incorporates humor and much need levity especially in the Hollywood scenes. It reminds me of old school film making -not flashy or stylized–just good storytelling.
Affleck assembled a strong cast. John Goodman and Alan Arkin are great together and offer some comic relief. Bryan Cranston is awesome and NOT underused. The six diplomats in need of rescue are not explored very much–which could have been issued except that Affleck, smartly, focused the story on his character, CIA operative Tony Mendez. And although Affleck does a fine job playing Mendez, as a latina I have to ask…”Where there no latino actors that could play…a latino character, Mr. Affleck?” Just asking.
What really worked for me was the tension. It was palpable. There were moments that I found myself on the edge of my seat–whispering directions to the screen. ”Go. Go.” It was nerve-racking, but in a very good way. :D
It is also cool that this incident actually took place. I am always impressed by what the men and women of our covert agencies deal with and do. Very cool indeed. Nice when you get to acknowledge one of them and admire his effort.