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Argo (2012) Review

I really hope people don’t crucify me for saying this was not my favourite film of 2012 or close. This film had problems that I will discuss within the review. The film was very good though in its first half and I really enjoyed the Hollywood scenes. The acting was also very good for the most part and I loved John Goodman and Alan Arkin. I didn’t think Ben Affleck was all that great as an actor and as the director he did something that I refuse to look past because it keeps happening in Hollywood. America doesn’t solve every problem by themselves, yet in films about history its “‘merica great and everyone else is pussies!” I did five minutes of research and instantly found flaws in this film historical portrayal.

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Based on true events, Argo chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis-the truth of which was unknown by the public for decades. On November 4, 1979, as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point, militants storm the U.S. embassy in Tehran, taking 52 Americans hostage. But, in the midst of the chaos, six Americans manage to slip away and find refuge in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Knowing it is only a matter of time before the six are found out and likely killed, a CIA “exfiltration” specialist named Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) comes up with a risky plan to get them safely out of the country. A plan so incredible, it could only happen in the movies.

Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended

Story: 80%       Acting: 85%      Characters: 70%      Dialogue: 85%

Historical Drama: 70%      Style/Sound: 80%      Visuals: 90%

Total: 78%

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My problem with the story of this film is that it was already great in its factual self, but then they decided to add stuff and lie constantly just to add more thrill and if you can’t make a hostage situation thrilling without lies you’re not very good at this. But this is just the last half of the film, the first half is brilliant with the attack on the American embassy having some great performances and from inside the building was really convincing. The whole Hollywood part of the film was fantastic, funny, good acting and really entertaining dialogue. This of course prompting many quotes of this line “Argo Fuck Yourself”. Overall the acting was very good but I did find that whilst the hostages escaped thier characters became boring and I couldn’t care less if they lived, which seems like a problem when that should be the whole point of a hostage film, Might just be me but I really wouldn’t have cared if the films characters died.

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Claiming that the New Zealand and British diplomats had turned away the American refugees in Tehran is utter bullshit! A diplomat from New Zealand drove the refugees to the airport and they planned for them to move if found out at the Canadian house. The refugees initially stayed at a British house before moving to the Canadians after the Iranian police started acting suspicious around the house. Why do American films about any period of history make their allies look like fools and cowards? It’s massively insulting and I am shocked that more people didn’t complain about this. Anyway the style and sound was good and the visuals were excellent considering they didn’t film in Iran, I wonder why they wouldn’t be aloud?

Must Watch Trailer:

The best reviews I found would be these “Surprisingly enjoyable, given that you may have little prior commitment to this story and only mildly like Affleck” David Sexton. “The only reason to watch Argo is because it’s heavily padded, and while it works pretty well regardless, I wouldn’t hold that up as an example of high quality filmmaking” William Bibbiani. “Argo may be a good film that was just viewed by someone who isn’t its target audience, but in the meantime feels like another Ben Affleck related project that’s being over praised because of who’s attached to it and its bureaucratic subject matter” Chris Sawin.

My favourite scene would have to be anything in Hollywood, very funny and totally enjoyable. Felt like a different film and I liked the characters. Great performances from Alan Arkin and John Goodman best thing in this film.

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films Mwahahahahaha!

61 responses to “Argo (2012) Review”

  1. Lights Camera Reaction says :

    “My problem with the story of this film is that it was already great in its factual self, but then they decided to add stuff and lie constantly just to add more thrill and if you can’t make a hostage situation thrilling without lies you’re not very good at this.”

    You do make a good point here. Either way, I really enjoyed Argo and I wasn’t expecting to. I wasn’t rooting for it to win best picture, but it doesn’t bother me.

    Like

  2. monster1711 says :

    Great review and love your site, I am now following. I justs started my own film blog and would appreciate it if you could check it out. Hopefully you’ll like what you see.

    Like

  3. sidekickreviews says :

    Yup, Argo is an overrated film. Not a bad film, I just don’t see it as the Picture of the year. Great review! The ending as they go through the airport security check felt over dramatized and I agree that the hostages were not empathetic. Like you said, the Hollywood scenes were really good and some good laughs about the movie industry.

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  4. The Celtic Predator says :

    First of all, I want to say that I was forwarded to this blog by Claratsi, as well as your awesome Predator gravatar (simply awesome!). And your site design is impeccable, btw.

    With that said, I have a fundamental disagreement with a large part of how you discussed this movie, and that is that you seem to hold the film-makers responsible for historically accurate information or as history teachers in and of themselves, which they are not. They are artists, and can therefore do whatever they want with regards to their craft, and I think that most of the time, these film narratives “based on true stories” are better movies for the fact that they do take artistic liberties and some times fudge the facts quite a bit. I find it odd that you disliked a lot of the historical inaccuracies throughout the second half of the film, and how you could easily stumble upon the narrative “fallacies” with just a quick search, when you also point out that you loved all the Hollywood scenes, particularly with Alan Arkin, when Arkin’s character is actually entirely fictional.

    For the record, I am an American, but that is not why I liked (not loved) this film a lot. I personally liked it because I thought it was a great drama, and I felt that most of the artistic liberties taken actually did improve the story. Just because a hostage situation is dangerous and risky does not necessarily make it an interesting story, because it’s easy to tell any type of tale in a boring or uninspired manner, even if you’re a veteran film-maker. For instance, the “turning away” by the Brits and the NZ was done to make it seem like the 6 Americans had nowhere else to go (ironically emphasizing the valuable role played by the Canadian leadership, which no one has acknowledged about the story).

    I actually have the opposite complaint with the widespread reaction to this movie that you do ABOUT the movie itself. As a proud, yet also (hopefully) well educated US citizen, I feel like any American-made historical picture that DOESN’T depict America as either fat, lazy, full of itself, or doesn’t portray its allies as the stars of the show gets eaten alive by the critics and many of the more snobbish fans.

    With that on the table, I look forward to your reviews of other 2012 Best Pic Noms, as it’s always infinitely fun to debate the infinitely selective sorority house that is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Subscribed!

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    • Tim The Film Guy says :

      Damn, now I owe Claratsi a follower 😀

      To be honest I probably went on a little to far with my rant over the Brit and Kiwi liberties. I actually didn’t include that issue into the score at all.

      My main complaint would be with how unrelatable the characters where in the last half of the film. How a hostage film can have hostages that I quiet frankly couldn’t care less about is just unbelievable.

      Ben Affleck should not star in his own film, he is not a strong actor. Massive weak point in the film.

      The Hollywood scene is my favourite because it is the best part all around. The story, script and acting was great but sadly the only part of the film it had that perfect trio 😀

      On the American film side of things, I think that America has thousands of brilliant stories to tell that show the countries greatness. But isn’t it insulting to Americans if you have to lie in a film to make your country sound good?

      Silver Linings Playbook and Django Unchained have both been reviewed if you want to search for them. Both actually got much better reviews from me. I plan on seeing the others soon 😀

      It’s funny I have probably given a more descriptive review in reply to your comment. Thanks for following and I hope to see you around these parts again soon 😀

      Like

      • The Celtic Predator says :

        Well in that respect, I have virtually no disagreements then (not that disagreeing is a bad thing, of course). I’ll check out those other reviews of SLP and DU you mentioned, as I liked them both too. I’ve finally gotten around to reviewing all the movies I saw in 2012, including the the Best Pic Noms, so hopefully our comparisons will generate some interesting discussion 🙂

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