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average rating is 3 out of 5


Brian Penn


Posted on:

Feb 23, 2024

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Matthew Vaughn
Written by:
Jason Fuchs
Bryce Dallas Howard, Sam Rockwell, Henry Cavill, Catherine O' Hara, Bryan Cranston

For those who currently have a 'James Bond' shaped hole in their lives help is close at hand. Mission Impossible can offer the jaw dropping stunts that made 007 famous; whilst the Kingsman will provide a dash of elegance amidst the chaos of fighting the bad guys. Now we have Argylle who can shake and stir things up in good style. It bears all the hallmarks of director Matthew Vaughan who coincidentally directed the Kingsman movies.


Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) is a successful novelist who specialises in espionage tales. Her latest book features Argylle (Henry Cavill) a recurring all action spy master. Elly lives quietly but is constantly berated by her mother Ruth (Catherine O' Hara) who thinks she should get out more often. As fate takes a hand Elly finds herself on a train sitting opposite the mysterious Aidan Wilde (Sam Rockwell). He urges Elly to trust him as all is not what it seems. Surrounded by aggressors she is quickly convinced her life is in danger. They flee with her cat Alfie strapped to her back in a see through glass case. It seems her stories are getting too close to the truth and threaten a sinister organisation led by Ritter (Bryan Cranston).


Argylle is brash, colourful and packed with crowd pleasing antics that visually stimulate without going near the brain. The narrative is structured to overlap with scenes from Elly's books and real life. The lines are momentarily blurred but its soon clear where this flimsy plot is heading. Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell carry off the leading roles with joyful exuberance. They are well supported by some nicely placed cameos along the way. Due Lipa as La Grange struggles in a limited role that demands too little; her brief appearance is reminiscent of the classic bond girl cameo; show some flesh and then exit as quickly as possible.


For a Bond pastiche it hits the mark and is a pleasant diversion from actioners that take themselves too seriously. Matthew Vaughan is buried deep within his comfort zone but executes a genre he understands well. The film does lose some credibility for its downright silliness particularly during the action sequences. Great fun but be ready to suspend your disbelief for prolonged periods.


About the Film Critic
Brian Penn
Brian Penn
Theatrical Release
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