Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Argyle is a fun spy thriller

Director Matthew Vaughn returns to the world of espionage for his latest film, “Argyle” from Universal Pictures. Jason Fuchs pens the screenplay, which, in the simplest of terms, is a razor-witted, reality-bending, globe-encircling spy thriller. Elly Conway, portrayed by Bryce Dallas Howard in the movie, is a reclusive author who has written a series of best-selling espionage novels. She finds solace in spending her evenings alone with her computer and her feline companion, Alfie.

However, Elly’s peaceful routine is disrupted when the plots of her fictional books, which revolve around secret agent Argyle, played by Henry Cavill, begin to resemble the clandestine activities of a real-life spy organization. As a result, Elly’s serene evenings at home are abruptly replaced by a thrilling and dangerous reality. Accompanied by Aidan (Sam Rockwell), a cat-allergic spy, Elly (carrying Alfie in her backpack) races across the world to stay one step ahead of the killers as the line between Elly’s fictional world and her real one begins to blur.

I want to keep this review as brief as possible, as “Argyle” is one of the films you should go into knowing as little as possible. Director Vaughn and celebrated screenwriter Jason Fuchs have woven an intricate web of non-stop surprises! They’ve kept things interesting with one twist unraveling another and another lurking just around the next scene. You can almost see Vaughn’s cheeky smirk as he merrily stirs up his movie with a delightful overabundance of plot turns. He’s tipping his hat off to classic spy thrillers like “Our Man Flint” but doing so in a joyful parody.

Some of the plot twists in this movie might be familiar to experienced moviegoers. However, the film boasts a star-studded cast who deliver outstanding performances. Howard and Rockwell have great chemistry on screen, and Henry Cavill also stands out. This movie could be the perfect opportunity for him to shine since the DCU didn’t give him the recognition he deserved. Movie buffs are also treated to enchanting appearances by Sofia Boutella, Bryan Cranston, John Cena, Academy Award winner Ariana DeBose, and Grammy laureate Dua Lipa. Everyone’s favorite funny lady, Catherine O’Hara, brings her usual comedic gusto and uber-cool legend, Samuel L. Jackson, adding depth to their characters and exponentially elevating the film-going experience.
Although I enjoyed the movie, it has some issues that must be addressed. Even though I appreciate Vaughn’s exceptional directing skills, “Argyle” has an excessively long duration of 2 1/2 hours, which is quite unsettling. It’s surprising how such a renowned director could let this sluggish runtime pass through the editing room. Besides the lengthy duration, the visuals are also questionable. While the CGI in some fight scenes is commendable, it is not impressive in others. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the film.

With the film and the “Kingsman” franchise, it’s clear that Matthew Vaughn plans to create a larger spy-themed universe, and I look forward to seeing his next spy adventure.

Final Grade: B-
“Argyle” is in theaters now

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Argyle is a fun spy thriller