Ben Affleck outsmarts Iran. More than we needed to know about the 1979-80 US Embassy hostage crisis in Iran, courtesy actor-director Affleck, who casts himself as a resourceful CIA “exfil” specialist with a daring plan – to rescue six American Embassy staffers who escaped rampaging hordes of Islamist revolutionaries in Tehran, and then to smuggle the six out of the country disguised as a Hollywood film crew scouting locations for a wacky-but-spurious sci-fi movie called Argo
. Writer Chris Terrio’s screenplay (adapted from Joshuah Bearman’s Wired
magazine article) bears a superficial resemblance to the nutty-but-true situations in Charlie Wilson’s War, but with most of the humor drained out of it. And we’re left with a routinely tense procedural race against the clock. The nice comic character work by John Goodman and Alan Arkin – as movie producers arranging the dummy “production” – is forced to take a backseat to the national security heroics. Should have been the other way around. (120 min.)
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Ben Affleck outsmarts Iran.