Saturday, October 13, 2012


Last night I saw Argo, starring Ben Affleck and Bryan Cranston.

Tony Mendez (Affleck) is an 'exfiltration' specialist for the CIA, which means he specializes in removing people from dangerous situations. Jack O'Donnell (Cranston) enlists Mendez to formulate a way to get six American Embassy refugees, currently in hiding at the Canadian ambassador's residence, home safely from an Iranian disaster zone. The year is 1979.

Though unconventional, Mendez has an idea to coach the six into portraying themselves as a Canadian film crew to get them out of the country. The general consensus is that the proposal "is so crazy it just might work," so the seal of approval is granted by the CIA to move forward with the plan.

Sounds like a great idea for a screenplay doesn't it? The twist is that this story is true. Painfully accurate, as a matter of fact. The events in this film really did happen and were unknown to the world until President Clinton de-classified the operation in the 1990s.

One may assume that because we know the ending the movie's sense of suspense will suffer, but that's not the case. Affleck, who also directed the film, has created a thriller masterpiece here. He's given us a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction plot, duplicated the physical appearance of the actors to look eerily like their real counterparts and delivered a film full of heart, humor and humility.

Though I knew how the story ended going into it, there were moments where I was actually holding my breath watching it all play out. The casting, the acting, the pacing, the writing—all superb.

It will be hard for another film to surpass the greatness of this one for me this year. Get to the theater right away and take it all in. You won't be disappointed (and do remember to stay for the credits).


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