- Large cast
- Good action
- Tongue in cheek comedy
- Too many cameo parts
- Plot gets confusing
- Slow beginning
StudioApple Original Films
Theatrical Release Date (NA)Feb 2, 2024
Film Length2hr 19min
Argylle is a spy movie with more twists than a pretzel factory. Produced by Universal and Apple TV+ and directed by Matthew Vaughn (Layer Cake, Kick-Ass) the movie begins with spy novel author Elly Conway, played by Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, Spider Man 3), doing book signings to promote the latest addition to a series of books called “Argylle”, the name of the super spy character in her novels. Little does Elly know her novels have caught the attention of an evil consortium called “The Division”. It seems the Argylle novels mirror real life scenarios involving CIA efforts to bring down The Division.
Planes, Trains and Assassins
Assigned to protect and bring Elly to former CIA director Alfred Solomon, played by Samuel L. Jackson (Star Wars, Pulp Fiction), is Special Agent Aiden, played by Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), who finally finds her on a train that is also packed with assasins to take her out. There is lots of action and humor here that will continue for the rest of the film. Elly and Aiden fly to Paris to meet Alfred Solomon where Elly finds out she is actually Rachel Kylle, the real Argylle in her mind’s eye. She was captured by The Division some five years prior and brainwashed into believing the boss Ritter, played by Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), and his top agent Ruth, played by Catherine O’Hara (Home Alone, Schitt’s Creek), are her mom and dad. Naturally Aiden convinces Rachel she is a spy and they go off to collect data files that will bring down the evil Division. They recruit super hacker Kiera, played by Ariana Debose (West Side Story), who sets up a program in which to retrieve the copious Division files.
Other than the cast mentioned already, the rest are basically reduced to well-placed snipets of comic relief. They are actually in the mind of the Elly/Rachel character and used by her to work through the latent memories of spy life in her head. The bulk of these are of the main character of her books Agent Aubrey Argylle, played by Henry Cavill (Superman, The Witcher) and used with great success to get some laughs. Also worth mentioning is Wyatt, played by Jon Cena (Fast and Furious), a cohort of Agent Argylle and LaGrange, played by Dua Lipa (the pop star’s first film), who happens to be the nemesis of Agent Argylle. Even though these parts are brief in nature they prove to be important to the story and work quite well to keep the film light and entertaining.
The Cat’s in the Bag
There are a couple things worth mentioning that keep this movie fun while not focusing on the better-than-average cast. First there is the soundtrack. It is very good at complementing the visual scenes and is used generously throughout the film. The song choices keep the silly tone of the movie going strong with a nice dose of that Sam Rockwell silly side to complement the action. This soundtrack actually saves the movie from falling into chaos from the many plot twists. The hidden star of the show turns out to be a cat. Elly keeps this cat with her at all times and carries it around with a very original hard case backpack with a hard bubble window. We don’t get the usual cat jokes one would think but instead get very entertaining humor that the audience can love and appreciate.
The Final Mission
It may not be the cat’s meow, but Argylle has a great cast and silly, entertaining plot twists. If you like a silly Sam Rockwell character you will enjoy this movie, and should you get a little confused by the storyline….just listen to the music.
An early screening was provided for this review.