3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Argo (Blu-ray + UV Copy)  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
The real story behind the film is so banal and dull it makes you wonder why they even took it on in the first place. The only interesting element in it at all is the movie side of it, so for that to have such a minimal role in the film is pointless. Arkin and Goodman are by far the best things to happen in the film and they barely feature, and are almost forgotten about once Affleck leaves the country. Then they are given phone duty, which they abandon right at the crucial moment as soon as they get hungry.
The real story involved the Americans being holed up in the canadian embassy for weeks, pretty safely. 2 CIA agents turned up, walked them through the airport and they all went home. So easy and so dull.
They had to invent so much fake tension for this film just to get it going. But even then it was so cliche it made it worse.
Goodman and Arkin - will they cross the road in time to answer the phone? Gasp!
Will the guy at CIA issue the tickets in time for Affleck to check in? Oh the tension!
All the tension in the film is made up, none of it (save the opening) taken from real life. No being chased through the market, no housekeeper who might or might not give them up, no security checks at the airport, no visa fakes, no child putting together shredded documents just in time, the list goes on.
I didn't know anything about the story beforehand, but every single time something with tension happened I couldnt believe it had happened because of the way it was so perfectly timed and cheesy. It was absolutely no surprise to me at all upon checking out the true story afterwards that none of it happened. Not once during the film did I think any details were true. They were all so predictable. Everything went to the wire and they all just manage to get away in time, every time.
They dotted the film with so many of these fake aspects that it just makes the whole thing laughable. Which is summed up perfectly in the Die Hard 2 style ending of production line terrorists chasing a plane up a runway. It takes itself far too seriously for what it actually is. That's why no one cars when Die Hard is cheesy, thats part of the charm. It just doesn't work when you are trying to portray history.
It's almost as if the writers had been commissioned to write this story, realised there was absolutely nothing to play with and just had to cram in as many faked tension moments as they could just to keep the thing bobbing above water.
If you want a standard Hollywood popcorn film then you are in the right place, but there is nothing that rises this above the rest of the output Hollywood produces year in year out.
This is one of those Oscar winners that will be forgotten in history. Hopefully future generations will be confused at its success. Everyone should go and watch Zero Dark Thirty instead.