Filmmaking and film viewing could be summed up as such: A bunch of talented people get together so the director can talk to himself for two hours. Mediocre films result from a director having a simple conversation with the mirror, terrible films result from a director fighting himself, excellent films are vise versa; the director debates himself, and truly incredible filmmaking stems from a director who can let us in on the conversation, make an audience a piece of the puzzle. Argo, and its director Ben Affleck, wants to do all of these things, but can't seem to find a mode ham-fisted enough that it would gel with the rest of the material. It attempts "engaging and intelligent", yet can only seem to muster "kitschy yet understanding". Add a little didacticism into the mix, however, and you've got a frustrating lecture. Is Affleck debating anything here? Nope. His mind's made up from the get-go, and lucky us, we get to snooze through a third-time director's trite, clumsy foray into ground so fucking well-tread that the entire piece gets stuck in the mud. My mistake, the sand.