Argylle | Review by: Gal Balaban


It’s always a blessing when Matthew Vaughn gives us a glimpse into his twisted mind with his witty and bombastic action scenes, and Argylle has a few of those, but it’s everything else that disappoints. Vaughn directs with a love for spy material and cartoonish entertainment mixed with modern, meta flare. The script, however, completely misses the mark and lacks the commanding energy that his Kingsman had. Even Sam Rockwell, whose charm and goofiness often comes effortlessly, has to work with dialogue that falls flat and the attempts at humor don’t manage to illicit a response. Though Henry Cavill has some fun and Bryce Dallas Howard tries her best in the leading role, there’s more left to be desired in Ariana DeBose, John Cena, and Samuel L. Jackson’s screentime. Bryan Cranston’s villain may be the weakest link of the cast, as everything he’s given to do is annoyingly generic.

The movie’s downfall is also its ambition, which is often what lifts Vaughn up above the rest. The ludicrous twists are executed in a head-scratching way, and all the film’s rules or explorations of fiction vs reality are thrown to the side for more frustrating decisions that make its lead character less interesting. The pacing also suffers greatly in the film’s second half, the end of which sees us getting a few of those glorious scenes of carnage Vaughn’s known for, which still feel softened compared to what they could’ve been due to the PG-13 rating, but are delightfully exaggerated and have great soundtrack choices. By then, however, the journey to get there is simply exhausting and it may be too little, too late for many viewers.

Argylle is a massive disappointment in which a singular director brings his trademarks to the screen yet again, only this time without the laugh-out-loud glee or the clever script that usually support his vision. Its ambition unfortunately exceeds its grasp, and its inconsistent and convoluted execution make this invitation to take the world a little less seriously with Matthew Vaughn a sadly unrewarding one.


Review by: Gal Balaban 

#movie #film #argylle #henrycavill #action 

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