Reel Reviews | Argylle

by Charles Kirkland, Jr.

The world is not enough when a popular spy novelist finds herself caught up in one of her stories come to life in the action comedy, Argylle.

The world is in love with the spy series Argylle and even more so with its author, Elly Conway.  After a book reading of the fourth episode, Elly dives into the completion of the fifth episode in the series.  As she writes, she sees agent Argylle playing out every move.  Through this process, she knows that she has reached the completion of the story.  At least that is until she shares her story with her biggest critic, her mother, who feels that there should be one more chapter.  The next day Elly meets up with one of her biggest fans, a long-haired hippy named Aiden who turns out to be a real spy.  Aiden’s mission is to protect Elly from forces out to get her because some of what she has written is just a bit too real.  Immediately, Elly realizes that the line between her fiction and her reality is non-existent and nothing will ever be the same.

Argylle is written by Jason Fuchs who also wrote the first Wonder Woman.  It stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Elly, Henry Cavill as Agent Argylle, and Sam Rockwell as Aiden.  The film’s ensemble includes John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Ariana Debose, Dua Lipa, and Richard E. Grant.  The film is directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, The Kingsman).

Cinematically, Argylle is amazing.  As usual, Matthew Vaughn is hyper-creative in his direction.  In this film, his action scenes cross the border of belief and bound into the incredible.  Vaughn attempts to delineate the fictional world of Argylle from the real world of Elly Conway by exaggerating the implausible (like grabbing a person off a moving motorcycle) versus the regular incredible action scenes that he presents.  Either way, the action is incredible and fun to watch.  Additionally, the color palette of the movies is so soft and warm that even the most outrageous action scenes feel real and inviting to observe. 

The story of the movie is the problem.  A good film will include a twist.  A great movie will have a couple of twists in its plot.  This movie goes overboard on the twist.  It is hard to keep track of what is going on in the film.  The movie will give you a headache in trying to figure out who is good and who is bad.  After the third twist in the plot, the best thing you can do is just hold on and enjoy the ride.  And the ride is really fun!

Rated PG-13 for strong violence and action and some strong language, Argylle is a super-cool action comedy that is head-spinning, cheesy fun.  It is a little weird that this movie is not showing in the summer when families could see it together but, when it is all over, you’ll either be looking for someone to either do the whirlybird with or try to figure out everything that you just saw.  By the way, don’t miss the mid-credit scene for even more to talk about!

Argylle is in theaters on February 2, 2024.    

 Grade:  B