ARGYLLE Is Wild and Crazy Fun, But Not Particularly Original

For several months last year, every single time I would pay to see a movie in a theater, I was inundated with the same trailer for Matthew Vaughn’s new film, Argylle. Not only did I find this oversaturation of promotion irritating, but it also made me wonder why the studios plugged this movie so hard. Thankfully, I would stop seeing this annoying trailer, and the time had finally come for me to see this confounded movie.

The end result for me wasn’t as bothersome as the movie’s promotional campaign. As I expected, with Argylle, Vaughn delivers a wild, over-the-top, comedic actioner with a cartoonish style comparable to his adaptations of Kick-Ass and Kingsman. One difference this time is that Argylle is rated PG-13 and doesn’t have the bloody, gory, violent, or sexual material that the other films have. However, what is also missing is the smartly written and conceived satire and commentary from his other movies. In fact, there is only a little depth to the writing here.

As its annoyingly overplayed trailer reveals, the film follows the adventures of spy novel series author Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard). Though very successful with her Argylle book series, Elly’s life could be more exciting and adventurous. However, that is all about to change. While riding a train heading to her parents’ home, professional assassins attempt to kill Conway, but she is rescued in time by a secret agent named Aidan (Sam Rockwell).

Aidan reveals that Elly’s books contain secrets and clues vital to his espionage organization and are particularly sensitive to the organization of terrorists Aidan’s group is trying to thwart. However, Aidan also reveals that a real Agent, Argylle, exists within his group and that it is finally time for Elly to meet this person.

Written by Jason Fuchs and directed by Matthew Vaughn, Argylle is silly, mostly mindless fun. Even though the movie has a clever twist, it isn’t a particularly original one. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed Vaughn’s craziness, colorful style, and mostly charming but sometimes hilarious comedy. It is a movie that I moderately enjoyed once, but I wonder if it will continue to hold up with repeated viewings. I am also not sure how Vaughn intends to continue this series well, as it has been announced that he would love to make additional installments.

I enjoyed the cast, with Howard, Rockwell, and Cavill being the main standouts. Howard is absolutely lovable as the frumpy but cute Elly Conway, a woman who enjoys writing spy novels but does not want to live in one. Rockwell is charming and cool as Agent Aidan, the spy helping Elly survive to help is organization. Henry Cavill is an absolute riot as the physical representation of Elly’s protagonist, Agent Argylle. The movie also features fun turns by Samuel L. Jackson, Catherine O’Hara, Bryan Cranston, Sofia Boutella, Ariana DeBose, and John Cena.

Argylle is now playing in theaters, but it is a movie that I would wait on. It will play better as a streaming title, and while it is fun, it can be experienced on something other than the big screen. Besides, if you are as tired of the movie’s trailer as I was, it would help to put some distance between that and the actual film.

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