Review: “Argo”

As I’ve mentioned previously on The Audio Dope, I don’t have a bad thing to say about either of Ben Affleck’s first two directorial efforts: “Gone Baby Gone” and “The Town”. As a result I had some high expectations for Affleck’s third film, “Argo”, which were unfortunately not met.

To begin, by no means is “Argo” a bad movie. Better yet, by no means is “Argo” not a quality movie. However, I left the film with a kind of emptiness I felt when walking out of movies such as “Quantum of Solace” and “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”. This led me to analyze why “Argo” left me with such a indifferent/disenchanted feeling after checking out the film. As it was the case with ‘Quantum’ and ‘HP6’, “Argo” lacked almost any form of character development during its 2-hour runtime. Sure, the movie was relatively exhilarating. And sure, I did enjoy some of the personas the actors depicted in their performances. Unfortunately there wasn’t one character I actually became invested in. There wasn’t any character in the film that would give me that “Billy Costigan feeling” if they somehow managed to randomly get their head blown off. At the end of the day, I can only care so much about a movie if I’m not enthralled and immersed in a film’s story and characters.

The lack of character development is more of a jab at the screenplay than the cast of “Argo”. Affleck was solid as the lead CIA mastermind behind the ‘fake-film’ and portrayed a cool/composed character that clearly contrasted the American hostages. Alan Arkin, who plays the Hollywood veteran responsible for making most of the scheme in “Argo” work, offered the film’s standout performance by far. Arkin was great: engaging, cynical, and comedic. As for the group of 6 hostages, I just wasn’t a fan. While I felt for each character, no one stood out to me as someone I could identify with.

The Audio Dope usually doesn’t like to give “number ratings” in our reviews, but I wanted to find a way to best describe my evaluation of the film. To conclude, all I can say was that “Argo” was above-average. Nothing more, nothing less.



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