BEFORE READING this review, please take a moment to forget the Ben Affleck of the early 2000s and prepare yourself for a world where Ben Affleck is indisputably badass. Okay, you ready? Let's go.
If you snoozed through the Iranian hostage crisis by not being born yet, a refresher: The US and some other imperialists have historically been major assholes to Iran, so in 1979, the Iranian people were like, "Actually, no!" and they rose up and stormed the US embassy, where some 60 Americans were frantically trying to shred stuff and not be murdered. Six Americans escaped through a back door. (Nice embassy-storming, amateurs!) While the world was focused on what was happening to the dozens of hostages inside the embassy, those six were stuck at the Canadian ambassador's house—with no way to get out. Enter: Ben Affleck as a CIA hostage wrangler with an insane plan to create a fake sci-fi movie called Argo, call the six escaped hostages a film crew, and then GTFO. And you guys: This actually happened.
I did a crappy job at explaining all of that, but Argo does not; Affleck's direction delivers a brilliantly simple telling of a complicated story. Detailed without ever feeling dense, the film should satisfy nearly all classes of nerds (history! Politics! Science fiction! Movies!), as well as normals who just want to watch something entertaining. While Affleck already repented for Daredevil through ace directing in Gone Baby Gone and The Town, Argo locks down his status as a great filmmaker: It's always crazy impressive when people can make tense, dramatic movies out of historical events where the audience, you know, knows the ending. Argo nails it, and then some. I had to cover my eyes at parts; the people around me were probably like, "Aw, this poor girl knows nothing about history." Whatever, guys, I was just a little overcome by the badassery.
Ben-Affleck-as-actor and Ben-Affleck-as-director are likely going to be giving some Damon-less acceptance speeches come Oscar season, and they'll totally deserve them. Also in the running for big awards is none other than Bryan fucking Cranston, who I know became a boss through Breaking Bad, but demonstrates here that he doesn't need to be a scary meth cook to be one of the most baller actors working today.
The third most awesome dude in this movie is a tie between everybody else involved.
Let us all shake the dust off of our '90s-era Ben Affleck Fan Club membership cards and get back on board. Gigli is long gone. Argo is here. Affleck, unquestionably, rules.