[Courtesy of Universal Pictures]

Movie Review: Argylle

07:00 February 06, 2024
By: Fritz Esker

Argylle (2024)

Director Matthew Vaughn started small with the worthwhile British crime film Layer Cake (starring a pre-James Bond Daniel Craig). He then moved on to over-the-top action films to varying degrees of success with the Kingsman franchise and Kick-Ass. His new film Argylle is of a similar but more comedic vein. However, the end result largely falls short.

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Elly, the author of a wildly popular series of spy novels featuring a spy named Argylle (Henry Cavill). While struggling to come up with a satisfactory conclusion to the fifth novel in the series, Elly meets a real spy (Sam Rockwell) on a train ride. He tells her that her books predicted real-life events and, as a result, she is in grave danger. Chases, fights, and twists ensue.

Argylle is always very silly and it's passably entertaining for about two-thrids of its running time. It has a good cast (Bryan Cranston, Catherine O'Hara, and Samuel L. Jackson are also featured) and there are scattered funny moments. However, the final act becomes completely ridiculous even by the film's previously established standards for silliness. It also drags on for what feels like an eternity (the film runs 139 minutes). The script, by Jason Fuchs, piles on twist after twist after twist. Twists can be fun but overdoing them results in audience fatigue and necessitates long stretches of dialogue explaining the twists.

Argylle is goofy enough that it may attract a cult following somewhere down the road (especially if the online rumors that Taylor Swift secretly wrote the script persists). But it proved to be a bit too much for this reviewer.

Sign Up!