Mike Kueber's Blog

March 22, 2013

Saturday Night at the Movies #66 – Argo

Filed under: Movie reviews — Mike Kueber @ 2:43 pm
Tags: ,

I haven’t had much time to watch movies lately because I’ve been too preoccupied with watching Kiefer Sutherland’s series “24” on Netflix streaming.  The series is addictive, and with 193 episodes, there’s a lot to be addicted to. 

Now that I’m starting the seventh of eight “24” seasons, I’m starting to worry about exhausting what originally seemed to be a never-ending supply of episodes.  Fortunately, there are a slew of new movies being released on Netflix that should help me taper off “24.”  Just yesterday, I received Argo and Skyfall, and Lincoln, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty, and Flight will follow shortly.    

Last night, when given a choice between 2012 Best Movie Argo and season-seven, episode-2 “24,” I chose “24.”  Then, when I woke up this morning, I put Argo on.  The similarity between the two dramas is striking.  In Argo, which is based on a true story, CIA operative Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) is tasked with exfiltrating six Americans from the Canadian embassy in war-torn Iran in 1979.  Exfiltrating is also one of the core competencies of Jack Bauer in “24,” but he usually pulls it off in an hour instead of the weeks of preparation afforded Mendez.  Also Bauer’s escapades will almost always require him to shoot several “hostiles” and engage in some hand-to-hand combat.  By contrast, Mendez seemed meek and nonviolent.  In fact, the six Americans being rescued seemed so pusillanimous that I started thinking that they were really Canadians instead of merely pretending to be Canadians as part of their escape cover.  As one senior CIA guy said early during the hostage stand-off, “John Wayne has been in the ground only six months, and he must be turning over in his grave watching us being mistreated by some thugs.” 

In the end, however, the intestinal fortitude that is bred into Americans came to the fore, and people conducted themselves accordingly, even the Carter administration.  And Mendez did what Bauer often does – i.e., he tells his superiors to shove their weak-kneed orders where the sun doesn’t shine because he is going to do the right thing.  Gotta love it.  Rotten Tomatoes critics score it 96%; the audience 93%.  I agree – four stars out of four.   

p.s., as a factual matter, the movie appears to glorify the role of Mendez at the expense of the Canadian ambassador.

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1 Comment »

  1. It was good, that’s for damn sure, but there also felt like something was missing from the final-product to really take us by storm. Everybody’s fun to watch and the movie has it’s tense moments, but overall, it’s not as exciting when you know the out-come beforehand. Nice review Mike.

    Comment by CMrok93 — March 25, 2013 @ 3:57 pm | Reply


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