I can’t believe this won Best Picture. There. I said it. I stand by my opinion as well. Comparing this film to the others that were nominated, especially “Lincoln”, it just doesn’t measure up. The story of “Argo” follows Tony Mendez a CIA agent that “gets people out” (of what, I don’t want to know) as he concocts a wild cover story to get 6 Americans out of Iran when the US Embassy was overrun back in the 70s. That resulted in the worst US hostage crisis in modern history.
Here’s the thing about “Argo”: it is a film of two parts. The first part is about Mendez getting his plan together. This plan has to do with a fake Hollywood science fiction movie being filmed in an exotic locale. Basically, Tony (played by Ben Affleck) has to get his plan the green light from the higher-ups at the CIA, fly to Hollywood, act like a producer, hire a director, get a script, thrown a press junket, fly to Iran, get to the Canadian Embassy (where the Americans are hiding), act like a scouting unit for a day, and then fly out. The second part of the film is all about the Americans in hiding in the Canadian Embassy. People are getting tortured elsewhere in the city, while some Iranians are even hung publicly. It’s all very stressful.
Or so we are lead to believe.
My problem with “Argo” is that the film never connects with the audience. I was interested in seeing more of the events in Hollywood, but things there were rushed. A large portion of that part of the film was also interrupted with updates on what was happening back in Washington. That created a very disjointed feeling in me. Couple this with the lack of any connection with the Americans hiding out in the Canadian Embassy. I honestly could have cared less what happened to them. Don’t get me wrong, I am sure it was a very harrowing ordeal in real life. I’m just talking about the movie. In the film, I wasn’t overwhelmed – or underwhelmed for that matter – by any of those characters or the actors portraying them. I felt nothing for them.
The film has a boring pace to it, clopping around DC, LA, or the Middle East with the same lack-luster feeling. The film has no grit to it, and it makes me ache for something more dynamic. It has Alan Arkin in it, which is always good, and he delivers up the only memorable bit to this film with a great catchphrase. Beyond this though, “Argo” simply is not a contender in a Best Picture race. It makes me wonder who had to bribe whom to get this Oscar!
Therefore, it is my opinion – be it ever so humble – to NOT recommend “Argo”. It simply holds no appeal what so ever, for any audience. Don’t waste your time on this one.
…and that’s it for this edition of THE REEL VOICE