Argylle Review

Disclaimer: Our review of Argylle is pretty short because you can’t talk about the second half of the movie without giving away too much. We will keep this spoiler-free so as to not let the cat out of the bag!

Imagine being an author and finding out that the works of fiction that you have been selling for years are true stories. All of your books have been happening in the world and you were not aware of it and now the fate of the world relies on your next book. This is the simple premise for Argylle, the latest action movie by Matthew Vaughn. Now saying “simple premise” is selling the movie a little short. There is a lot more to the story that we have to hold back to not spoil your experience when you watch the movie.

Elly Conway, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is the best-selling author of the “Argylle” book series. She has written 4 books that have a big following and that is prevalent in the opening scene where we see her at a book signing/reading event. It’s funny to see people dressed as the main character Argylle in the audience and ask the normal questions that you would hear at comic-con question-and-answer segments. The books tell the adventures of Agent Argylle, played by Henry Cavill, and his team played by John Cena and Ariana DeBose.

Argylle is an exaggerated version of James Bond and we see the over-the-top action at the beginning of the movie. He effortlessly fights off the bad guys and his perfect buzz cut does not get messed up during these fights. Now while the fantasy spy world is what has given Elly much success, she soon finds out that the real spy world is not as perfect as she has imagined when she meets Sam Rockwell’s character, Aiden on a train ride to her parent’s home.

(from left) Argylle (Henry Cavill), Lagrange (Dua Lipa) and Wyatt (John Cena) in Argylle, directed by Matthew Vaughn.

If you have seen the trailer, you know that he warns her about an attempt on her life and a fight ensues on the train. I will say that these fight scenes must have been brutal for the editor to cut from Elly seeing Aiden one second and Argylle the next. The transitions are done smoothly and you see how Elly visualizes her character in this real-life situation. By seeing Argylle, Elly motivates herself to face her fears and do the unthinkable from time to time. Yes, even though this is an action movie, we do get a lesson on believing in yourself and that self-affirmations are good for you.

Finding herself in one of her books, Elly must help Aiden figure out what the next move will be. The movie becomes a cat-and-mouse game as Elly and Aiden are one step ahead of the “Division”, which is the group of bad guys hunting them down. Bryan Cranston plays the head of this group and plays it in a way that is sinister but teeters on the edge of being over the top. He is perfect in this role and commands your attention when he is on the screen.

In true spy fashion, the movie has some fantastic locations as the backdrop. From London to vineyards in France, and even a strange-looking suburb that’s supposed to be Chicago (there were a lot of laughs when the Chicago title screen popped up during that moment) each location helped move along the story and gave us some insight into the characters. Rockwell and Howard make a great team together at each of these locations. Samuel L Jackson seems to be having fun being in this movie just being his bad-ass self. There are a few tender moments and plenty of twists and turns but those moments are for you to find out when you see the movie.

(from left) Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Aidan (Sam Rockwell) in Argylle, directed by Matthew Vaughn.

There’s a moment in Argylle where Rockwell’s character Aiden, tells Howard’s Elly, to whip up the next chapter in her book. He expects her to be able to write the full chapter in a matter of minutes and she tells him she can not. She informs him that it takes months and sometimes years to write due to doing research, fact-checking, and multiple rewrites to put the proper words to paper. This was something that I can relate a lot to when it comes to writing my reviews and just writing in general. Now while I don’t take months to write a review I do try to give the movie its praise by writing the correct words.

Matthew Vaughn has given us some memorable gems with his Kick-Ass and Kingsman movies. All of these films have given us some violent action and humorous moments that have not been seen before on the big screen. While those movies are a little too violent for younger viewers, Argylle tips the line on being that violent but suitable for younger viewers to watch. The violence would be equivalent to the violence in Captain America: The Winter Soldier but without the superheroes running around. Argylle is ridiculously fun and action-packed!

I will end this by adding that the music used in the film is fantastic. From starting with Barry White’s “My Everything” and ending with Boy George and Ariana DeBose’s “Electric Energy” you will be tapping your feet throughout the movie. There is a scene that involves different colored smoke canisters that will not only make you dance in your seat but also wince at the violence going on at the same time. The movie did feel like an ad for the new Beatles song “Now and Then” since it was played a few times throughout the movie.

Final Thoughts: Argylle is an entertaining take on the spy genre with plenty of hilarious and “did that just happen” moments! If you have not seen any of The Kingsman movies, you might be slightly put off by this style of action and humor. Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell are great together and Rockwell tends to steal most of the scenes he is in. While the plot twists, at times, are predictable, the story still has a way of keeping you interested until the final scene. Make sure you stay for the after-credit scene.

Kid-Friendly: The movie is rated PG-13 and comes close to an R with some of the violence. There are plenty of curse words dropped here and there and phrases that have adult connotations. The movie has a message about believing in yourself that is great for kids to hear.

Violence: There is a lot of action in Argylle and some intense fight scenes.

From the twisted mind of Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman franchise, Kick-Ass) comes Argylle, a razor-witted, reality-bending, globe-encircling spy thriller.

Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World franchise) is Elly Conway, the reclusive author of a series of best-selling espionage novels, whose idea of bliss is a night at home with her computer and her cat, Alfie. But when the plots of Elly’s fictional books—which center on secret agent Argylle and his mission to unravel a global spy syndicate—begin to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, quiet evenings at home become a thing of the past.

Accompanied by Aiden (Oscar® winner Sam Rockwell), a cat-allergic spy, Elly (carrying Alfie in her backpack) races across the world to stay one step ahead of the killers as the line between Elly’s fictional world and her real one begins to blur.

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