Argylle (dir. Matthew Vaughn)

By: Meghan Winebrenner

Argylle could be the most ludicrous film of the decade. Director Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass, Kingsman: The Secret Service) is no stranger to the action genre. His latest film is jam-packed with absurdity, excitement, and an eclectic group of A-list celebrities. From Morgan Freeman to Dua Lipa to Catherine O’Hara, the cast is composed of pop-stars, wrestling stars, and movie stars with over the top performances that are elevated by bright costuming, gorgeous set design, and breathtaking backdrops. Argylle is exactly the aesthetically pleasing roller coaster it promises audiences to be. 

Matthew Vaughn’s spy romp is led by Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World, The Help) who portrays Elly Conway, a prominent author working on the fifth installment of her hit series: Argylle. The book series revolves around Secret Agent Aubrey Argylle, a winking Henry Cavill (Man of Steel), who travels the globe on extravagant secret missions. Conway’s world is turned upside down when she meets Aiden Wilde, portrayed by Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), who instructs Conway that her fictional creations are not fiction at all, and instead she is predicting actual events of espionage. Vaughn’s film dives head first into an exciting and implausible series of contrivances that not only finish Conway’s latest installment of the Argylle series, but also attempt to save the world from the terrorist group known as the Division.  If this sounds like a lot, it is.

Argylle’s plot loses its way as it is both inconsistent and implausible. Audiences be warned that even the quickest of theater breaks may risk losing any connection to what is occurring within the jagged story. While the film’s opening act is strong, its second half consists of a labyrinth of convoluted plot twists. The film’s central internal struggle revolves around Elly not knowing who she can trust, which is ironic because the film elicits no trust from its viewers. Obvious shortcomings aside, it would take a cynical person to deny some of the chaotic fun that Argylle presents. With fantastical fight scenes, ridiculous dance sequences, and an adorable cat, Argylle possesses some laws of attraction despite its preposterous plotline. The film screens like a bad boy-friend: it is terrible, but so easy on the eyes. Audience’s looking for escapism will find it through the film’s exciting backdrops consisting, but not limited to Greece, England, and the Arabian Peninsula. However, if looking for cohesive storytelling, thoughtful character development, or deeper meaning, Argylle is a film to pass. 

Target Score 4/10 - Matthew Vaughn’s Argylle makes little sense, but for audiences looking for a moving picture of beautiful places, costumes, and people, Argylle delivers.