I can’t remember the last time I felt so tense watching a film!
Reading a synopsis of the story (CIA involves Hollywood in creating a fake film in order to extract Embassy workers hiding from revolutionaries in Iran), you could have expected something unreal and downright stupid.
But the fact that we know this actually happened just ramps up the tension even more.
OK, we can allow that it didn’t happen exactly as portrayed in the film, but it’s testament to the excellent directing skills of Ben Affleck that this doesn’t matter a bit.
He doesn’t allow time to find out too much about the ‘houseguests’, and there is no opportunity to stop and think about what’s happening – but that’s the point. The CIA man in charge (played by Affleck himself) doesn’t have time for any of that either; he just needs to extract the six people. And we need to watch him succeed.
A tight, excellently constructed film, and the ‘will they, won’t they’ sequence towards the end are some of the most tense few minutes I have ever experienced watching a film.