Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 28th November 2012
Releasing in cinemas across Hong Kong and Australia from 15th November 2012
Hong Kong Box Office Takings: HK$3,439,538
Support the site by buying DVD or Blu-ray from our HK Neo Distribution Ebay Store
With “Argo”, Ben Affleck is fast becoming one of the best directors currently working in Hollywood. It is tense, tight, well scripted, meticulously acted and extremely relevant. This is most certainly one of the must-see cinematic experiences of the year.
“Argo” is the kind of film that comes with plenty of Oscar hype and grand expectations and yet still manages to deliver the goods. It is by no means a small feat and Affleck have all but redeemed his earlier acting career mishaps. It is a film that presses all the right panic buttons from start to finish and keep the audience at the very edge of their seats till utmost finale. To call “Argo” a great film is actually an understatement as it is dead on a worthy contender to this year’s Oscar awards.
Ben Affleck is no doubt a far better actor when he is given the chance to direct himself. Here, he is composed, matured and performs the role with a collective calm is that required of him. As a CIA agent, the audience follows him and his presence of a leading man is easily felt. Alan Arkin as Hollywood producer and John Goodman as the make-up artist provide excellent comic relief and support in an otherwise tense and dramatic flick. Of the six captives, Scoot McNairy shines as the calculated and frightened yet smart diplomat. In the scene where he explains the movie script to the border patrol provides the film with one of its most intense moments. Others five captives turn in good supporting performances without standing out of the pack.
What is so great about films like these, you can tell that Affleck comes from a strong background on how to direct and produce a film from start to finish and the strong focus on the script is what made “Argo” excels. The airport finale is so stunning and well-paced that it will be difficult to surpass. From the ending credits, you can tell how much details and attention has been given to the casting of this film, making it as realistic as it can be.
All in all, “Argo” is Affleck most accomplished film to date and that’s a pretty good compliment as “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town” is good and gritty films in their own rights. I am not saying this film is perfect, but it manages to sustain tension in a manner that placed the audience in the life in danger situation. In other words, the situation feels utterly real. In “Argo” (co-produced by George Clooney), they achieved something special and it’s been long time coming where a thriller manages to thrill from start to finish. Well done mate. (Neo 2012)
I rated it 9/10