Argylle

The greater the spy, the bigger the lie.

Action Adventure Comedy
139 min     6.164     2024     United Kingdom

Overview

When the plots of reclusive author Elly Conway's fictional espionage novels begin to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, quiet evenings at home become a thing of the past. Accompanied by her cat Alfie and Aiden, a cat-allergic spy, Elly races across the world to stay one step ahead of the killers as the line between Conway's fictional world and her real one begins to blur.

Reviews

Manuel São Bento wrote:
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://talkingfilms.net/argylle-review-a-delightful-surprise-of-campy-entertainment/ "Argylle emerges as a (very) pleasant surprise this new year, blending absurdity with sophistication to create a truly memorable cinematic experience. Matthew Vaughn's vision, combined with Jason Fuchs' sharp, clever screenplay, provides an entertainment rollercoaster ride that obliterates initial expectations. From unexpected twists and turns to the incredibly charismatic cast, not to mention a third act filled with hilariously unforgettable action set pieces, the complex-made-simple spy story captivates the audience with its campy charm and relentless energy. It's my first big recommendation of 2024, one you can't afford to miss in theaters!" Rating: A-
CinemaSerf wrote:
"Elly Conway" (Bryce Dallas Howard) lives in her remote lakeside home writing spy novels that are going down a storm. Her conclusion to the fifth in the series about the eponymous, "007"-style agent perplexes her mother, though. What happens next? Well wait til book six would seem to be the obvious answer, but mom (Catherine O'Hara) insists so "Elly" decides to take train to visit her parents - and that's mistake number one. Onboard she encounters a rather scruffy looking chap "Wilde" (Sam Rockwell) who is reading one of her books. She tries to hide her identity, but when he gets to the fly-leaf then her secret is out. That's soon the least of her worries as she and travelling cat "Alfie" are soon caught up in something straight out of one of her books! She can't fathom why she'd conceivably be the target for any nasty people, but her new found friend soon convinces her that there is someone she has to meet - and pretty quickly she's embroiled in an whole new world of mystery, intrigue and danger! It's a bit of a slow start this film, with a slightly annoying flicking between her real life and those of her characterisations (that's where the "Action Man" style of the sparingly used Henry Cavill appears) but once we establish who is who and what's going on, we are straight into "Man from U.N.C.L.E." territory with loads of rapid-fire escapades that though hardly original, do have some fun twists and turns as we progress to a denouement that is derivative, but still quite enjoyable to watch. The initial concept is quite original and though the execution largely an amalgam of other Matthew Vaughn features, it still works quite well even if it is far too long, with Rockwell clearly having some fun here and the cat remaining largely contained in it's capsule throughout!
Brent Marchant wrote:
It’s disappointing when a film has an intriguing premise but fails to deliver the goods in the end. Such is the case with director Matthew Vaughn’s latest, an action-adventure/comedy about an author of spy novels (Bryce Dallas Howard) who stumbles into a real-life espionage scenario that matches the plot of her latest novel, embroiling her in a web of ever-shifting intrigue with various nefarious parties. The problem here is that the film never quite latches onto a dedicated focus to make the picture work. Some of the comic bits are indeed quite funny, but they frequently get bogged down by a meandering story line that’s trying to follow a more conventional, twist-laden thriller format. It leaves viewers asking, “So what’s it going to be?” There’s also more than a little derivative material thrown in, such as story threads we’ve already seen before in movies like “Romancing the Stone” (1984), “The Long Kiss Goodnight” (1996) and any number of James Bond flicks. While it’s true that this release is intended to be a spoof of these titles (especially in scenes featuring Henry Cavill as a hilariously hammy 007 knock-off), there’s a big difference between paying tribute and playing unrepentant copycat. Then there’s the picture’s excessive length, coming in at a bloated 2:19:00 runtime, far longer than it needs to be, a failing attributable to an often-needlessly complicated plot, one that begins to try audience patience at times, especially in the back half. “Argylle” also features a cute, cuddly cat, Alfie, as a central character (at least in its trailer), but, like the narrative overall, the film doesn’t quite seem to know what to do with the supposedly frisky, fickle feline, an impression far different from what’s conveyed in the picture’s video marketing. All of this is a shame, because this title has both potential and some apparent strengths going for it, such as a fine soundtrack, superbly choreographed action sequences, and an excellent ensemble cast with the likes of Sam Rockwell, Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Ariana DeBose, and a seriously underused Richard E. Grant, not to mention fine turns from Howard and Cavill as alter-egos of one another. This one isn’t nearly as bad as many critics have made it out to be, but it could have been substantially better with some significant retooling and judicious editing. “Argylle” apparently has ambitions to become a new franchise, too, but we’ll have to see if that materializes based on what kind of box office draw it ultimately produces. At this point, though, I think it has its work cut out for it.
Chris Sawin wrote:
_Argylle_ is an action thriller that willingly wallows in goofy, cringey nonsense. Its writing is immature, and its action is overloaded with sloppy CGI and outrageous concepts that are preposterously frustrating. **Full review:** https://bit.ly/arghspy
r96sk wrote:
Such a peculiar film. Everything about it feels off. I was initially a little unsure as to what I thought about 'Argylle', but in the end: it's a no from me. I couldn't actually tell you one thing that I properly liked about this, like at a push Sam Rockwell and Bryan Cranston are decent but even they get a bit hit-and-miss. There's just a constant tinge of lousiness that follows around throughout. Bryce Dallas Howard feels miscast, even if she is fairly likeable. Henry Cavill is wooden (intentionally? doubtful), as is Dua Lipa but the musician has enough charm to make it work slightly. Speaking of music, all that is used here is alright but again feels off - mostly seems like the correct type of song, just the wrong exact choice of song... "Electric Energy" might grow on me, though. What also doesn't help is the unavoidable feeling that it is a bad redo of 'Kingsman', which is expected given who directed this and all that they are planning with the two flicks behind the scenes. I'm all for a shared universe, though this is perhaps too on the nose. There are also 'The Lost City' (itself echoing 'Nim's Island') vibes sprinkled in too. Another negative is the special effects, especially at the start... less said, the better. Overall, I think it all boils down to being a poor film - unfortunately, as I kinda wanted to like it but simply couldn't. Actually, it's just come to me, I just remembered a scene I actually did truly enjoy: the one with Leona Lewis' "Run" track. That was actually entertaining.
kellypfei wrote:
What a disappointment. It tried to be a little Long Kiss Goodnight, Bullet Train, Bugs Bunny and James Bond. The CGI is horribly bad. Love Dallas in most things but in this she was fine as the author character but so unbelievable as the action spectacular spy. Sam Rockwell was great, as usual and the rest did a serviceable job but the story was horribly executed. The colorful, smoke bomb, ballet gunfire gauntlet scene was absurd. And what's with the repetitive use of the new Beatles tune? Didn't fit and slowed the action down. And the use of Henry Cavill and John Cena was confusing, silly and not needed. Promising beginning that crashed and burned.
MovieGuys wrote:
Cringe worthy nonsense, loaded down with puerile premise after puerile premise, predictable, done to death action and irritating characterisations. I managed about half of this before walking away. The US entertainment industry really is a bit of a bad joke these days.
MartyCrooner wrote:
Woof. I think they were going for fun quirky spy thriller, but it's just bad. And not bad in a way that is entertaining. All the characters and all the premises are just so stupid, and it looks so bad it's distracting, and it's boring on top of it all.

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