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12th Feb 2024

‘Witty and mindless fun – Argylle is an easy and entertaining watch’

Jody Coffey


*This article contains minor spoilers about the film Argylle*

Be open to the weirdness!

There are times when all you want is a thought-provoking and engaging film, one you can discuss at length once the credits have rolled.

Other times, when you’re looking to shake off the work day and completely tune out, you want to enjoy a bit of mindless fun, that requires minimal energy or thought.

On Friday night, I wanted the latter.

Off I went to the cinema to see the new spy action comedy film, Argylle, and I was determined to unwind, relax, and completely zone out.

Credit: IMDb

Argylle follows the life of Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas-Howard), an introverted best-selling spy novelist, who lives alone with her cat Alfie.

Her popular book series centres around the eponymous character, secret agent Argylle (Henry Cavill).

During a reading of her book, one of her fans alludes to the idea that Elly’s books are seemingly able to predict the future, with the written fictional events coming to fruition in the real world.

She, of course, brushes this off as a coincidence.

As she contemplates the ending of the fifth book of the Argylle series, she hits a wall, unable to write an ending that her fans deserve.

To tackle her writer’s bloc, she decides to visit her mum (Catherine O’Hara) for inspiration and guidance.

After boarding a train, the Matthew Vaughn-directed comedy takes a turn that sees Elly and fellow passenger/actual spy Aiden (Sam Rockwell) dropped into a real-life espionage storyline, similar to the ones she writes about.

Credit: IMDb

It is here that the weird and wonderful plot takes off.

If you’re in search of serious espionage, you won’t find it watching Argylle.

While parts of the movie show the leading characters’ expertise in deduction and clue-solving, the violence and physical combat go beyond the realm of possibility.

But is that such a bad thing?

There are no blood-stained floors, gore, or visual evidence that aligns with the shootouts and fisticuffs taking place, making it seem a little childish, which is understandable given that the film is rated PG-13.

Credit: IMDb

Other times, the methods of how the combat is carried out are, well, ridiculous and completely unrealistic.

One scene in particular, towards the end of Argylle, is so chaotic and nonsensical that you won’t be able to help laughing, despite the seriousness of the character’s situation.

That is unless you were expecting a slick and serious espionage film with cinematic and action-filled combat scenes, then you may feel really cheated or annoyed.

Argylle is a feel-good and goofy film with a stellar line-up of actors, which includes Samuel L. Jackon, Bryan Cranston, John Cena, and Dua Lipa.

It is not a weighty, consequential, or slick espionage film like James Bond, or similar, it’s a fun and silly form of escapism, with artful, clever, and entertaining twists and turns.

Once you acknowledge that and lean into the weird and illogical happenings of the plot, you have a higher chance of thoroughly enjoying and appreciating this film and its witty script.