The Mystery Unveiled
This is a real mystery right here. Show someone the poster of this movie who hasn’t seen the trailer and be like, “Who do you think the star of this movie is?” I’ll give you a second to think about it. So, “Argyle” is the new Matthew Vaughn film that stars Bryce Dallas Howard and Sam Rockwell. That’s right, kids! In case you didn’t get it, those two are the stars.
Author Turned Spy
Bryce Dallas Howard plays an author who writes spy novels, and it turns out her novels are very close to reality. So, she gets wrapped into the spy world, with spy organizations trying to kill her. Sam Rockwell plays a spy who’s helping her out. It’s the two of them navigating that situation, and yes, Henry Cavill is in it. But, he is not the star of this movie, regardless of what the poster looks like. Henry Cavill is in this movie for about 5 minutes max. So, don’t go into this expecting him to have a major role like in “Man from Uncle.” It’s just going to piss you off.
Hit or Miss
Matthew Vaughn is known for his hit or miss movies, and funny enough, “Argyle” is hit and miss as well. It’s not the best and worst of Matthew Vaughn, as there’s nothing in here that really compares to his best works. But, it’s undeniably some Matthew Vaughn fun and lows wrapped into one overstuffed 2-hour 20-minute package.
Sam Rockwell and Bryce Dallas Howard deliver good performances in the movie. Sam Rockwell, in particular, is a standout who showcases his great comedic timing. This is important for this movie because, when the humor landed, it was usually because of him.
This movie plays up the camp in that Matthew Vaughn kind of way. Sometimes it’s fun, sometimes you’re like, “And that’s the movie having its head up its own ass.” For example, that hallway action sequence with all the smoke. It’s trying to be this cool stylistic moment, but the problem is, you couldn’t see anything because everything was in smoke. So, it felt like a waste of time. However, the very next action sequence is far more ridiculous, but at least you can actually see what’s happening. So, I actually had fun with it.
No Structure, Multiple Vibes
This movie doesn’t really have structure. It feels like it’s about three movies in one. The first part is about an author working with a spy, trying to figure out what’s going on with the big bads. It’s like “Will Graham and Hannibal” but without the serial killings. Then suddenly, it switches to an “Enemy of the State” vibe. And from there, it switches to something else entirely. It feels like isolated incidents, like the movies are saying, “Alright, we’re going with this vibe. Alright, now we’re on to another vibe. It’s a totally different movie now.” The transitions can be jarring, but it’s all part of the movie’s unique style.
Twists, Turns, and Reveals
This movie actually has some fun twists, turns, and reveals. I had fun with those. But by the end of it, you’re like, “Okay, you’re jumping the shark big time here.” There are some unnecessary elements that could have been left out, and it felt like they were included just for the sake of it.
Henry Cavill’s Odd Inclusion
Henry Cavill’s inclusion in the movie started to annoy me. At first, you think he’s part of the spy sequence shown in the trailer, but then you find out he’s just a fictional character in the books that the author has written. However, the movie keeps cutting to him in certain action sequences, and it starts to feel unnecessary. It’s like they kept putting Henry Cavill into the movie because they paid for him, rather than for any narrative purpose.
Too Long and CGI Woes
The movie’s runtime is 2 hours and 20 minutes, which is too long for its own good. It could have been a fine 2-hour package without dragging it out. Additionally, the CGI and green screen effects in the movie range from noticeable to downright bad. It’s unfortunate that bad CGI has become the new normal in Hollywood movies. The artists behind the CGI work under extremely difficult conditions, with overwork and tight deadlines. It’s not their fault, but it’s disheartening to see the end result in the movie.
A Mixed Bag
Overall, “Argyle” has its moments, but it also has some really ridiculous and sloppy aspects. It’s style over substance, and while it’s not a total waste of time, it might require the aid of your own poison to fully enjoy. Funny enough, at the end of the movie, it seems like another crisis is caused, but it’s never mentioned again. It’s like the movie just forgets about it. In any case, have you seen “Argyle”? What did you think about it? If spy movies are your thing, let us know your favorite spy movie in the comments below!