Review: Argylle – diamond in the rough or just a chunk of coal?

Argylle is a poorly executed film with way too many head-scratching moments ...
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Rating: 5.5 out of 10.

Rating: 5.5 out of 10.

In the new film Argylle, a popular spy-thriller author finds herself in the middle of a real-life adventure that is strangely connected to the plots in her series of books. Directed by Matthew Vaughn, who brought us the Kingsman movies, there is an exhausting amount of action and implausibility to be had here, but it is mostly tongue-in-cheek fun.

I don’t want to spoil any twists or turns so I won’t delve into the plot too much other than to explain that said novelist, Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) becomes involved with a spy, Aidan (Sam Rockwell), and lines become blurred between the protagonist of her stories, Argylle (Henry Cavill), and the real-world agent.

The worst part of this movie is the horrendously bad editing where Elly’s mind’s eye switches between Aidan and Argylle, usually during extreme action sequences. This entire gimmick is unnecessary to the plot and horribly delivered. If they were going to do this, they might as well of tried to do it right. It’s simply annoying and starts to movie off on the wrong foot.

Additionally, if you get extra annoyed by poor rendering of animated cats, then you have another reason to avoid this film. Elly’s Scottish Fold cat, is another completely unnecessary part of this movie that is badly executed on a technical level. You’ll ask yourself “Why?” more than once before it is all over.


I hate to tell you this, but if you are going to see this movie because you are a John Cena or Dua Lipa fan, then you are going to be extremely disappointed as they are barely in the film – and (again) mostly unnecessary.   

The film also stars Samuel L. Jackson, Bryan Cranston, Ariana DeBose and Catherine O’Hara in parts that are best left undescribed. Bryce Dallas Howard does do a fine job in the lead role here, and is surprisingly effective in… well, there’s another one of those spoilers.

On the plus side, after most of the plot twists have revealed themselves, this does become a more satisfying movie, with the absurd action sequences delivering some hearty laughs and thrills.

In the end Argylle is a poorly executed film with way too many head-scratching moments, but if you can overlook its many missteps it still manages to be a fun, albeit strange, experience.

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About the author

Bob Leeper

Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.