Categories
Film Reviews

Review: Argylle. The great story of a cat-lover in trouble.

  • Release year: 2024
  • Director: Matthew Vaughn.
  • Producers: Adam Bohling, Jason Fuchs, David Reid and Matthew Vaughn.
  • Screenplay by: Jason Fuchs.
  • Cinematographer: George Richmond.
  • Music by: Lorne Balfe.

Synopsis: a writer of spy novels gets tangled in a huge conspiracy after meeting a real spy.

Shotgun Commentary: hilarious and action-packed, essentially The Lost City (2022) in a Kingsman world.

Aidan Wilde (Sam Rockwell) and Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard).
Source: Argylle (Matthew Vaughn, 2024). © 2024 Apple Inc.

Review

Argylle is an action comedy that follows the story of Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard), a lonely writer who creates spy novels with her cat as her only companion. Her life is turned upside down when she meets a real spy. He reveals that her fiction has become reality, and the villains of her story want her to tell them what the next events will be. You are very right, this sounds suspiciously similar to The Lost City (2022), but bear with it because it gets so much better.

Despite the not-so-original premise, the movie then becomes a proper spies narrative, with plot twists, betrayals and big reveals. These events are what sets this film apart and elevates its story to a proper original art work.

Plot holes

There are plenty of positives to come in due time, but for now, let’s begin with the negatives. The catalyst of the narrative makes no sense. She is a writer whose stories become the truth. So, if they want her next chapter, which she is working on, and they have her house bugged and under surveillance, wouldn’t it be easier to just wait and steal whatever she writes? They wouldn’t need to contact her at all.

Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard). Source: Argylle (Matthew Vaughn, 2024).
© 2024 Apple Inc.

And close to the ending, if someone is brainwashed into following orders when they hear a song, wouldn’t it make sense to slap their ears to temporarily deafen them until you destroy the source of the music? Sherlock taught us how to do that (Sherlock Holmes, 2009), so it is safe to assume that a super cool action-man spy also knows that move.

Additionally, if you are brainwashed to kill someone, why would you stop to pause a download? Your orders are to kill, not to touch a screen. A tactile screen that somehow works when your clothed elbow touches it…? But let’s not get into that.

Lastly, if fiction and reality are the same, smooches in reality should’ve been smooches in fiction… Just saying…

Editing maketh movie

The big star of the show is, without a shadow of a doubt, the editing. The matching choreographies are fantastic, incredibly engaging and amusing. The editing creates its own story, parallel to what is going on in the reality of the film as well as in Elly’s fictional world. It combines both to create the absurdly hilarious point of view of Elly, who is struggling to keep fiction and reality separate.

Lagrange (Dua Lipa) and Argylle (Henry Cavill). Source: Argylle
(Matthew Vaughn, 2024). © 2024 Apple Inc.

But even though all the fighting scenes are funny and have amazing special effects that enhance the viewing, there are two clear winners. The second place is for the dance fight scene, a moment that might remind you of Martha (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, 2017) at first, but will soon create a very obvious connection with the Kingsman universe. And in case this connection is still unclear after the colourful smoke, the choreographies, and the silly, cringy, carefree ways in which people are killed, there will be a final scene to just outright confirm that Argylle is indeed very much part of this universe.

The first place has to be for the ice-skating fight. This scene is so original, so empowering and so beautiful that it will raise all the hair in your body and won’t let it go down until it is way past over. This moment has everything: the soundtrack, humour, action, style, beauty, tempo… It is absolutely perfect.

Charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent

The characters are also an obvious giveaway of the world to which this film belongs. They are big personalities with distinctive fashion choices and a lot of charisma. So, although some of their outfits are questionable from a utilitarian point of view, they make anything work with their charm.

Lagrange (Dua Lipa), Argylle (Henry Cavill) and Wyatt (John Cena).
Source: Argylle (Matthew Vaughn, 2024). © 2024 Apple Inc.

To portray such characters, one needs a strong cast. Bryan Cranston is a no-brainer choice for the villain, and his fictional counterpart, Richard E. Grant, falls into the same category. Seeing the two of them in this quirky but evil roles is so much fun. The way they keep the bad side as entertaining as the good one is proof of why they are such popular artists.

Sam Rockwell is the best choice if you want personality. Watching him as a spy is an absolute delight. As for Bryce Dallas Howard, she gives life to Elly like no other. She takes us on a wonderful journey of self discovery as the complexity of her character increases.

Conway’s characters

The fictional characters aren’t far behind. John Cena is such an exciting choice. His appearances on screen are too little for someone like him and, although the film is very well-organised, it would have been great to have a little more of him on screen. The opposite can be said of Henry Cavill. Sure, he is great as the flirty spy, but his character is nothing that we haven’t seen before, so it gets boring after a while. Agent Argylle is literally Napoleon (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., 2015) with a horrible haircut.

Lagrange (Dua Lipa) and Argylle (Henry Cavill). Source: Argylle
(Matthew Vaughn, 2024). © 2024 Apple Inc.

And speaking about generic, Carlos (Tomás Paredes) and Keira (Ariana DeBose) are also a bit of a letdown. Both in personality, storyline and looks, they are as average and forgettable as one can get. Even taking into consideration that they are sidekicks, that level of mediocrity crashes with the general quality of the film.

Overall, a spy film with a cat chilling in the background is always a promising experience. Argylle delivers on that promise, giving you around two hours of entertainment and laughter that you will want to repeat over and over.

Advice to take from this movie:

  • If you are going to spend a lot of time with a cat, and you are allergic, get some allergy pills maybe?
  • Never drink or eat anything your mortal enemy offers you.
  • You can pull off any hairdo if you are handsome enough.
Alfie (Samuel L. Jackson). Source: Argylle (Matthew Vaughn, 2024). © 2024 Apple Inc.

What’s your take? Have you watched Argylle? Which is your favourite film of the Kingsman universe? Don’t hesitate to let me know your thoughts in the comments section below, or leave a message in my contact page! For more reviews and cinema-related articles, check out the rest of my blog! 😀

For more updates, chatting and additional content, don’t be shy! Check out my social media and connect!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.