Argylle review: An average spy-fi flick that misses the mark

Karishma Jangid
New Update

Directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Jason Fuchs, 'Argylle' is a spy action comedy with a dull plot that lacks thrill and fails to entertain.

‘Argylle’, quite simply put, is an average and even dull film. Don't get me wrong! It can be a fun flick to watch if you're looking to pass the time, but that's about it. If you go in without watching the trailer (like I did), the film still might have something for you. However, if you've already watched the trailer, there's very little else to discover.

As the trailer shows, Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard) is your shy and anxious author next door, known for creating the popular spy series 'Argylle.' The series follows Agent Argylle (Henry Cavill), fighting against the bad guys called the Division. Things turn wild when Elly gets caught in a web of spies. In her books, Elly unknowingly predicts the Division’s ugly moves. So, Ritter (Bryan Cranston) from the Division wants to catch her but Aidan (Sam Rockwell), the good guy, won’t let him. Aidan takes Elly on a worldwide mission imitating every spy thriller ever. Think about it, isn’t this the typical ‘girl next door gets stuck on a spy mission’ plot? Always been on the sidelines, she is now the main character and admit it, as the audience, you want to be her. Twists and turns, you don’t know whom to trust, a lot of action, some romantic tension, near-death experiences, you almost lose until you win. Well, that’s exactly what happens here. To put it in short, the plot is stereotypical to the tee. It is so loose and ridden with plot holes that you can't help but be distracted. 

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The film tries to experiment but all its experiments are unsuccessful due to the half-hearted execution. For instance, it blends action with dance. During some action scenes, romantic songs play with colours spread all around. Sounds interesting, right? However, the execution makes it look cringe-worthy rather than innovative. Unlike typical spy thrillers, Argylle puts a woman at the center and keeps the focus on her throughout. Ironically, despite the female-led plot, Elly consistently follows others’ commands, remaining under constant control. Initially dressed modestly as an author, she undergoes a sudden transformation when fighting, with her hair cut short and a switch to a sexy gown. 

Howard is really convincing (and adorable) as the author, but she can’t execute action scenes well. For someone who is fighting ‘the most evil organisation on the earth,’ she runs like I run to catch the local train. Moreover, that golden gown doesn't go well with the beautiful Howard and messes up the action scenes. The film has some really bad costumes, and colour grading that resembles Instagram filters. Moreover, watching Cranston do such a film after his legendary performance as Walter White in Breaking Bad is a letdown and Cavill, Dua Lipa, and John Cena are the clickbait versions of characters. Perhaps, Rockwell is the only saving grace of the film as he owns his character. Otherwise, Argylle has very little going for it.

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