June 20, 2024

‘Argylle’: A lackluster film, but a fun watch

Matthew Vaughn’s latest action-packed film “Argylle” was released on Feb. 2, 2024, leaving viewers wondering: “Who is the real Agent Argylle?” 

Spoilers ahead.

“Argylle” begins with the first of many excruciatingly long action sequences throughout the film. Argylle (Henry Cavill) and LaGrange (Dua Lipa), wearing their nicest attire, dance together in the middle of a beautiful ballroom. Almost immediately, LaGrange uncovers Agent Argylle’s spy identity and everyone in the room aims to kill Argylle. 

With the help of his partner Wyatt (John Cena), Argylle is able to escape, leading to a high-speed chase, where another one of his partners, Keira (Ariana DeBose), is killed (or so the audience thinks).

Viewers are left with an ominous line from LaGrange: “It seems we serve the same master,” before cutting to an author-reading event, where Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard), an anxiety-ridden, cat-loving woman, has finished reading the fourth installment of her book “Argylle.” Elly reveals there will be a fifth book in the series coming soon. 

Ideas flow onto the pages while Elly writes the new book, that is until Elly reaches the ending. Argylle is on the hunt for the silver bullet: a hard drive with all of the classified and dangerous information that would take bad guys down. Finding herself stuck on what happens next, Elly decides to visit her mom, Ruth (Catherine O’Hara), for advice. 

During the train ride home to see her mom, Elly meets Aiden (Sam Rockwell), an undercover spy, who claims everything Elly has written in her books has actually happened. Her writing has led her to be a target for The Division, an evil spy organization led by Director Ritter (Bryan Cranston). With her life in danger, Elly chooses to trust Aiden, who then fights evil agents whose main goal is to kill Elly.

Elly’s world is turned upside down when she discovers her parents are actually the leaders of The Division and have kidnapped and hypnotized her into believing she is their daughter. Her entire life, including her long-time cat Alfie, had been planted in her memory. 

In a whirlwind of events, Elly figures out who she really is. Her name is Rachel Kyle (R. Kyle) and she used to be one of the best spies in the world. 

Elly’s subconscious memories were written into her books as Argylle’s experiences, which is why Elly didn’t know how to end her new book, as she was kidnapped before she could locate the hard drive.

To put it plainly, this film is confusing. The surplus of plot twists made the storyline hard to follow. By the time the big twists are revealed, it is hard to remember what happened in the first place. 

Additionally, the pacing of the movie ruins the impact of the twists. For example, when Elly regains the memory of her romantic relationship with Aiden, the plot is quickly moved into locating and acquiring the hard drive. Then, as Elly has the hard drive in her hands, another plot twist is revealed, showing Elly was actually working with The Division before her memory was wiped. 

Elly then shoots Aiden in the heart, claiming to join her fake parents, but soon after, the audience finds out she shot him in a way that wouldn’t kill him so the two could work together to take down The Division. 

The quick back-and-forth nature of the plot twists is distracting and takes away from the impact of Elly’s revelations. The turning point of the film, when she realizes her true identity, came too late, allowing insufficient time to develop the third act.

There were many times when it felt like the film had reached its final moment, only to be followed by a bigger, more ridiculous moment. By the time the final action sequence ensued, the build-up had been exhausted. 

During this sequence, Kiera returns to help defeat The Division for good, adding yet another unnecessary plot twist.

Arguably the most distracting mistake in the film is the use of CGI. Some scenes were unrealistic and unconvincing because of the bad CGI. Additionally, Elly’s cat Alfie was almost entirely CGI, making every scene including him seems off.

Overall, despite the exorbitant downsides, “Argylle” is a fun experience. The characters are likeable and the action sequences are attention-grasping, keeping viewers entertained until the very end.

People who are simply looking for a good time can see “Argylle” in theaters.


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