Argylle Review

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Rating: 2.5/5

Synopsis:

Matthew Vaughn returns to his signature style with “Argylle”, a brand new action spy comedy. We follow Elly, an author who spends most of her time writing espionage novels at her home in a remote location. But when a secret agency known as The Division realizes the plot of her book mirrors real world events, Elly must figure out why she is being targeted and the real reason her stories may not be what they seem.

Positives:

While admittedly the spy-comedy genre isn’t my cup of tea, “Argylle” looked like an undeniably fun film. The cast is stacked from top to bottom, providing a sense of excitement due to the talent involved. This combined with Matthew Vaughn’s wonky style was enough to get me excited for the film. The premise is pretty intriguing, with mystery and intrigue around every corner. I’ll admit that I was surprised with a few of the twists and managed to stay interested with where the story went. It’s difficult to imagine a film like this going well without the star studded cast, so their involvement and commitment to the silly premise should keep most viewers entertained. 

Matthew Vaughn’s signature style is on full display here. It’s over the top in nearly every facet. The action, dialogue, visual style, and character behavior is all exaggerated. But the one area where he shows restraint is with the violence in the film. Unlike his “Kingsman” movies, “Argylle” sets itself up to be a family friendly crusade where the action and comedy is at the forefront. I’d say this is even a fun little date night movie where the fast paced energy combined with comedy and action is palatable for such an occasion. 

Negatives:

Although “Argylle” has a lot going for it, I can’t help but feel like the film is a massive disappointment. Sure, I generally don’t have the best time with this type of film…but I’m not the only one who feels this way about it. Even those who are Matthew Vaughn fans seem to be placing this near the bottom of his filmography. The runtime is something that doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s a long film that might have been more effective had it shaved off twenty minutes or so. I was ready to leave the theater by the time the credits started rolling. 

I was also surprised at how this incredible cast was utilized. There is so much talent involved, so seeing very little of Henry Cavill or limiting Sam Rockwell’s natural charm was disappointing. Even Bryce Dallas Howard, Samuel L Jackson, and the rest of the cast were given some strange dialogue and odd directions with their characters. I just can’t help but wonder what the film might have turned out like had the writing team been given better material. But Vaughn’s direction was lackluster too. I don’t believe his silly tone matched very well with the story being told. It just went over the edge where the wonky CGI and ridiculous tone saturated the runtime. 

Conclusion:

“Argylle” is neither good nor bad. I personally didn’t enjoy it very much but a crowd that is looking for a lightheartedly good time may enjoy their time with it. I don’t think it will be very memorable once audiences leave the theater and won’t be the best among the spy or comedy genres. Sure, it has its moments and some value in the entertainment department. But the lasting impression the film will leave is likely “meh, it’s okay”.