Thursday, October 18, 2012

Upcoming Release Review: Argo (Ben Affleck, 2012)

Argo is the hotly anticipated new political thriller from director Ben Affleck (Gone Baby Gone, The Town). Based on extraordinary true events of what became known as the Canadian Caper, Chris Terrio’s screenplay is adapted from a 2007 Wired article, “How the CIA Used A Fake Sci-Fi Flick to Rescue Americans From Tehran” by Joshua Bearman and The Master of Disguise, Tony Mendez’s account of his role in the joint covert rescue by the Canadian Government and the United States Central Intelligence Agency of six U.S diplomats from Tehran, Iran in 1979.

Argo opens in November 1979 with a thrilling early action sequence, which captures hordes of gun-wielding Iranian militants taking over the U.S. embassy and holding 52 Americans hostage. Six other Americans evade the takeover and hide out in the home of the Canadian ambassador, Ken Taylor (Victor Garber). If discovered, they would face death. Sixty-nine days later the CIA calls in Tony Mendez (Affleck), an extraction specialist, and he comes up with an ambitious front – the ‘best bad idea’ the country has – to get their stranded citizens out of Iran. Mendez’s scheme is to enter Iran under the guise of a film producer and supply the six Americans (which include characters portrayed by Tate Donovan, Scoot McNairy, Taylor Schilling and Clea Duvall) with new identities, passports and job descriptions, and convince the defending militants they are a Canadian film crew ‘scouting locations’ for a newly-proposed science fiction film – an exotic Star Wars reboot named ‘Argo’.

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