JOHN GOODMAN & ALAN ARKIN STEAL THE SHOW
Ben Affleck directed one of my favorite movies to come out in the last few years: The Town. I’m a big fan of that movie. Going into Argo, I was expecting another solid film and that’s exactly what I got. Three in a row Mr. Affleck (Including Gone Baby Gone of course). Argo is a tense telling of an extremely dangerous and remarkably true story. Right off the bat, I couldn’t imagine what it must have been like to be surrounded by thousands of angry people set on sending a violent message to the world.
It takes two minutes to understand the impossibly high stakes these people faced in Iran. When 6 people take refuge in a Canadian Ambassador’s home, it’s up to Ben Affleck’s Tony Mendes to get them out. The plan? Create a fake movie production company and convince the Iranians that the 6 Americans are actually Canadian filmmakers.
Getting the 6 people out of Iran was an intense journey highlighted by a trip to the town square surrounded by a mob hoping to find and kill Americans. It’s hard to believe these people actually took the risk and posed as filmmakers.
The intensity on one side of the world is balanced by scene stealing performances by John Goodman & Alan Arkin on the other. They are absolutely phenomenal as Hollywood pros who help set up the titular fake science fiction movie. Every single scene involving these two was fantastic especially Arkin’s exchange with a producer for option rights to the script.
Honestly, I can’t think of a single movie featuring John Goodman that I didn’t enjoy. Or at the very least enjoy his performance. I can say the same for Affleck’s directing efforts.
It was surprising that a movie centered on a truly terrifying situation could also contain well placed comedic moments. The film even boasts a fitting catch phrase:
“Argo f*ck yourself”
Argo successfully balances terror, drama, comedy and all the fascinating elements you’d expect from a true story. I think it’s that balance that makes Argo a wonderful achievement and one of the best movies of the year by far.